South Africa cruised to an 8-wicket victory against West Indies to register their first win in the 2021 T20 World Cup. West Indies were beaten 2-3 in their own backyard a few months ago and South Africa have beaten them here at the World Cup too. They literally had this sealed with the ball in hand.
The Group 1 contest pitted two teams who badly needed victory to rekindle their semi-final hopes after being beaten in their respective Super 12 stage openers.
After restricting the West Indies to 143/8, the Proteas chased down the target with 10 balls remaining.
Aiden Markram remained unbeaten on 51 with Rassie van der Dussen making an important contribution with an unbeaten 43. Reeza Hendricks, who replaced Quinton de Kock in the lineup, scored a brisk 39.
Earlier, Evin Lewis (56) was the only positive as the West Indies batting lineup failed to step up for a second successive game.
Evin Lewis and Lendl Simmons set the tone with an opening stand of 73, but South Africa's attack pulled it back and took 3 for 16 between the 11th and 14th over. Simmons' glacially slow innings will be a major talking point on the West Indies side. The opener scored 16 runs off 35 balls at a strike rate of 45.71. Evin Lewis scored a quickfire 56 from 35 balls.
South Africa suffered a jolt even before a single ball was bowled as wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock defied a team order to take a knee and sat out the match over what skipper Temba Bavuma called "personal reasons."
In a group widely touted as the 'group of death,' another loss has potentially hampered the current champions' chances for qualification to the knock-out round.