NORTH SOUND/ANTIGUA & BARBUDA: Ryan McLaren kept his nerve in a tense final over to help South Africa to a one-run victory over West Indies, and sweep their two-match Twenty20 international series.
West Indies, who needed three off the final delivery, managed only a single to finish on 119 for seven.
South Africa captain Graeme Smith was all praise for his young fast bowler, McLaren, who was the hero in the Proteas’ first win over the hosts as well.
“It was a bit tense at the end, so we had to find somebody to remain calm and Ryan kept a good, sensible head. It was an exciting finish. Although our record in such situations is quite poor, we performed really well again under pressure in a game that we probably shouldn’t have won, so it’s to our credit.”
Earlier, debutant David Miller had top-scored with 33 from 26 balls and Johan Botha made 23 from 22 balls to add some respectability to the Proteas’ total of 120 for seven.
West Indies, off to a poor start, were put back on track with a third-wicket stand of 68 between Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo. But South Africa regained control, grabbing four wickets - including Chanderpaul and Bravo - for 12 runs between the 15th and 19th overs to leave West Indies 99 for six. “If we can’t get 121, it means our cricket is definitely in a state. We still have five One-day Internationals before the three Tests. But I feel as if I am repeating myself here in this situation,” said West Indies captain Chris Gayle.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2010.