After dishing out a one-sided eight-wicket beating in the series opener, West Indies will face off against South Africa in the second T20I at Grenada on Sunday, June 27.
The return of superstar all-rounder Andre Russell resulted in West Indies returning to winning ways in the T20I format. Having lost three of their last five T20Is, the hosts needed a statement performance to commence a run of 15 international shortest-format games ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup.
West Indies got just that, as they restricted South Africa to a below-par 160-run total and made it look ridiculously easy in the run-chase. Andre Fletcher and Evin Lewis got the team off to an absolute flier before Chris Gayle and Russell put on the finishing touches with five overs to spare.
For South Africa, new captain Temba Bavuma’s first game in charge of the T20I side didn’t go to plan. Having lost five of their last six games in the format, the Proteas desperately need a turnaround in fortunes as they attempt to finalize their first-choice playing XI for the T20 World Cup.
West Indies vs South Africa 2nd T20I Match Prediction: Who will come out on top in Grenada?
South Africa’s star batsmen failed to carry on and score big against West Indies in the first T20I. Experienced batsmen in the middle order like Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller failed to deliver, while the top order flattered to deceive.
Quinton de Kock, now without the pressure of captaincy on his shoulders, started off well but threw his wicket away just as it seemed like he was destined to continue the form he showed in the Test series. His opening partner Reeza Hendricks was dismissed after a few boundaries, with Bavuma finding a fielder in the deep while attempting to accelerate.
But South Africa’s woes aren’t limited to their batting, which has been carried by Rassie van der Dussen in T20Is. Star pacers Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi had disastrous outings in the series opener, with the West Indies batsmen enjoying the extra pace on the ball. Tabraiz Shamsi and Anrich Nortje bowled well, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a shellacking.
West Indies, on the other hand, have only a few kinks to iron out. After Evin Lewis returned to form in the first T20I by scoring a sizzling 71 off 35 balls, their opening combination is fixed, with Lendl Simmons being a capable backup for Andre Fletcher.
For some reason, Chris Gayle finds himself batting at No. 3 for country as well as franchise, but he has consistently delivered in the role even though he takes some time to get going. With a power-packed middle order featuring Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder and Dwayne Bravo, the Caribbean side has all bases covered in the batting department.
West Indies have a wealth of experience in the bowling attack, which has made up for their lack of pace and wrist-spin. Off-spinner Kevin Sinclair was given the nod ahead of Hayden Walsh Jr, but he couldn’t make much of an impression while bowling in the powerplay. Fabian Allen bowled a superb spell, picking up two wickets for just 18 runs in four overs, and he will be on the lookout for some much-needed consistency.
Pacers Holder, Russell, Bravo and Obed McCoy were decent, but they weren’t really tested very often by the South African batsmen. Under pressure situations that they will inevitably face in the coming games, they will want to round off what appears to be a more than capable bowling attack despite a few shortcomings.
The pitch in Grenada was a belter as the rain stayed away. Another run-fest is expected in the second T20I, assuming the square sustains the wear of the series opener and the weather relents to allow a few hours of high-quality T20 cricket.
Given the conditions in Grenada and the make-up of the two sides, West Indies are undoubtedly the favorites once again. They could take a commanding 2-0 lead with a win in the second T20I on Sunday.
Prediction: West Indies to win the second T20I against South Africa
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