West Indies opener Evin Lewis smashed a breathtaking 71 off just 35 balls in the opening T20 match against South Africa. With his superhit batting, West Indies beat South Africa by eight wickets at the National Cricket Stadium in St George’s, Grenada.
South Africa fell short of a par total when it was held to 160-6 from its 20 overs after being sent in. Evin Lewis smashed seven sixes in a thrilling display of power hitting. Lewis was caught by David Miller at long-off from the bowling of Tabraiz Shamsi (1/27).
Story of the first innings
The Proteas got off to a flying start as they scored 61 runs in 6.4 overs, to begin with. However, they lost both their openers- Reeza Hendricks and Quinton de Kock
But after their dismissal, South Africa could manage only 99 runs from 80 balls. Skipper Temba Bavuma hit three fours and his 22 came at a tad over a run-a-ball. Their middle-order faltered as Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, and George Linde couldn’t get into double digits.
Nevertheless, Rassie van der Dussen scored 56 off 38 balls and took the Proteas to 160 for six in 20 overs. For the West Indies, left-arm spinner Fabian Allen and pacer Dwayne Bravo got two wickets each. Jason Holder and Andre Russell shared one wicket each.
The Evin Lewis show
West Indies made their intentions clear as they hammered 73 runs in the powerplay with a wicket. Andre Fletcher and Evin Lewis made sure that the Proteas were sent on the backfoot right from the word go.
The duo put on 85 for the opening wicket off seven overs. The required rate goes down to 5.84. They were separated after Fletcher was run out for a 19-ball 30. At the other end, Lewis notched a half-century off 22 balls. The left-hander went on to score 71 off 35 with four fours and as many as seven sixes before Tabraiz Shamsi dismissed him.
Chris Gayle was a tad circumspect in his unbeaten 24-ball 32, though he hit one four and three sixes. Russell drilled the final nail in the Proteas’ coffin with a 12-ball 23*, laced with two fours and three sixes.
South Africa: 160 for 6 in 20 overs (Rassie van der Dussen 60, Quinton de Kock 37, Temba Bavuma 22; Fabian Allen 2/18, Dwayne Bravo 2/30)
West Indies: 161 for 2 in 20 overs (Evin Lewis 71, Chris Gayle 32 not out, Andre Fletcher 31, Andre Russell 23 not out; Tabraiz Shamsi 1/27)