West Indies started with an emphatic win over South Africa in the T20I series opener and skipper Kieron Pollard was full of praise for the bowlers for pulling back the game in the middle overs. He also applauded the Windies opener Evin Lewis and hoped that he would play such knocks consistently.
At one stage, South Africa were going pretty well at 95/2 after 11 overs after losing the toss and being put in to bat at St George’s, Grenada. However, West Indies bowlers put up a tremendous show to restrict the visitors to 160 which was comfortably under-par after the Saffers began impressively. Fabian Allen and Dwayne Bravo turned out to be the pick of bowlers as they claimed two wickets each, with the former doing extremely well against a right-hand heavy Proteas batting line-up.
Speaking post-game, Kieron Pollard was very happy with the performance of the bowlers, especially in the middle-overs.
“We spoke about trying to hit the first punch. They (South Africa) got off to a pretty good start. Credit to the bowlers how they came back in the middle overs and in the back end using the variations and using the dimensions of the ground. 160, I think that’s on par,” said Pollard in the presentation ceremony.
In the chase of 161, the West Indies openers started aggressively, adding 73 in the powerplay and killing any hopes of a South African comeback in a dominating manner. Evin Lewis, in particular, came out with all guns blazing and blasted 71 off 35 which included seven sixes to help the hosts hunt down the target with five overs remaining. Pollard was impressed with the way the batters went about their business and praised Lewis.
“The way we went out and chased it with that sort of attitude, guys playing to their strengths, it was well done. Talented cricketer, we’d love to see more from Evin on a consistent basis. We hope that the consistency can continue. For us, it’s not about one individual but the entire team. Winning the game with overs to spare and wickets in hand is a start for us.”
Earlier in the Test series West Indies were whitewashed 0-2, but given T20 cricket is their stronger format and they have a lot of experience in the ranks, it wasn’t particularly surprising how things turned out in the first game. However, Pollard warned his men to not get complacent.
“We have a young team from a Test cricket point of view. These guys wouldn’t have faced the likes of Rabada and Nortje. For us, we are a little bit familiar. We can’t get too much ahead of ourselves. We’ll try to get better.”