The West Indies overcame the loss of a key bowler to beat South Africa 21 runs in the fourth international Twenty20 tournament on Thursday, leveling a five-game streak of 2-2. The fifth and decisive match will be played on Saturday.
West India lost left-handed spinner Fabian Allen to a shoulder injury in the field while defending a total of 167-6.
Dwayne Bravo strengthened and took 4-19, including the decisive gate of Quinton de Cock for 60, as the West Indies limited South Africa to 146-9. Captain Kieron Pollard also played a vital role with the ball to make up for Alan’s loss by taking 1-24 of his four avers.
Andre Russell had an increased workload, taking 2-20 and declaring himself “Ecumenical Chief” Chris Gale failed with the bat, but claimed the door of opening proteas Reese Hendrix with his first delivery and finished 1-11. Gail also took two catches.
“Chris (Gale) bowls this one and takes a wicket … sometimes you take a risk and get up,” said Pollard, who was the man of the match.
Pollard said Allen was out of order with a dislocated shoulder, “we had to catch up on some shots right away.
“I didn’t play much in the first few games,” he said, then I bowled in the last game. It was a matter of trying to use a lot of experience. To have (Bravo) and Lunch McCoy, who are still doing well with us, and Andre Russell to come into the game today and bowle his four overs and take a few wickets … I think it was crucial for us.
“It was a whole team effort from us, so let’s see what happens on Saturday.”
For the first time in the series, South Africa won the draw on Thursday and managed to ask the West Indies to fight.
The home team had difficulty at 101-6 in the 15th, before the previous inning was saved by a continuous 66-run partnership for the eighth gate between Pollard and Allen.
Pollard hit half a century of 24 balls, including five sixes, and finished 51, not out. He took three sixes out of 25 tracks from the 19th, which was almost the difference between the teams.
Allen played an important supporting role, scoring 19 of 13 balls, while the West Indies increased their innings in the last five overs.
“I haven’t had many deliveries in the last few games, so trying to give myself a chance and being there in the end is something I did from time to time,” Pollard said.
The total number of West Indies was equal to the series. In the first match South Africa made 160-6 watts first, in the second made 166-7 and in the third 167-8.
While de Kok was on the move, South Africa seemed to have a chance to win the match and the series. This would be South Africa’s first victory in the T20 series in two years.
De Kok hits to 18th, taking his 63 runs from 43 balls. South Africa needed 50 runs from the last 25 balls, which was not an insurmountable task. But when de Kok directed a wide delivery from Bravo directly to Lendl Simmons, the pursuit of the Proteus was almost over. After de Kock, the next best effort for South Africa was Aiden Macramis 20.