South Africa keep their cool to sweep West Indies
Ryan McLaren kept his nerve in a tense final over to help South Africa formalise a one-run victory over West Indies, and sweep their two-match Twenty20 International series in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda.cricket Updated: May 21, 2010 11:12 IST
Ryan McLaren kept his nerve in a tense final over to help South Africa formalise a one-run victory over West Indies, and sweep their two-match Twenty20 International series in North Sound.
McLaren fired in a low full toss very wide of off stump yesterday, as West Indies, chasing a modest victory target of 121, required three from the final delivery of the match.
But he conceded just one run, after South African point fielder Jean-Paul Duminy swooped on the ball, when West Indies tail-ender Jerome Taylor essayed a slog at it, and it trickled 15 yards away.
"It was a bit tense at the end, so we had to find somebody to remain calm, and Ryan kept a good sensible head, although we had a few guys running all over the place, but it was an exciting finish, and nice again to get over the line," South Africa captain Graeme Smith said.
"We have performed well enough in tense situations like this before, although our record in such situations in competition play is quite poor, but we have performed really well again under pressure in a game that we probably shouldn't have won, so it's to our credit, and the confidence is definitely growing."
South Africa also won the opening match on Wednesday by 13 runs at the same venue to take a psychological boost into the five One-day Internationals between the two sides, which open on Saturday at the VRCG.
Newcomer David Miller had battled to the top score of 33 from 26 balls, and Johan Botha made 23 from 22 balls to add some respectability to the Proteas' total of 120 for seven from their 20 overs.
They added 57 for the sixth wicket, after the West Indies' bowlers exploited an uneven Vivian Richards Cricket Ground pitch to floor the South Africans on 59 for five in the 13th over.
Taylor was the most successful West Indies bowler with flattering figures of three wickets for 14 runs from his allotment of four overs, and Darren Sammy captured two for 16 from his four overs.
South Africa put West Indies under early pressure, when Dale Steyn trapped West Indies captain Chris Gayle lbw for a two-ball duck in the first over, and Morne Morkel had fellow opener Andre Fletcher caught behind for four in the third over to leave the home team on nine for two.