Anisa Mohammed picks up her maiden T20I hattrick. ©WICB
Posiview-InPost

West Indies cruised to a comfortable win in the second Twenty-20 against South Africa, winning by nine wickets. In this match, Deandra Dottin became the third woman and fourth player overall to appear in 100 Twenty-20’s.

After a delayed start due to rain, the hosts’ won the toss, electing to field. Dane van Niekerk returned to the Playing XI, opening the batting with Lizelle Lee. Lee’s poor form continued as she was dismissed for a 12-ball-duck, off the bowling of Hayley Matthews. van Niekerk was then joined by Sune Luus, who soon followed Lee back to the dugout, falling prey to Matthews, having registered four-ball-duck of her own.

At 4-2, South Africa were in trouble. Chloe Tryon and van Niekerk then tried to steady the innings with a 28 run partnership, before the former fell for 21 off 24. Following Tryon’s dismissal, Mignon du Preez stitched together a 50 run partnership with her skipper to salvage the innings. But, just as du Preez started to look dangerous, having hit Deandra Dottin for a six, followed by a four off consecutive deliveries, she was caught by Stafanie Taylor, off the bowling of Anisa Mohammed. du Preez went back for 27 off 23. Her wicket brought Marizanne Kapp to the crease, whose handy cameo of 14 off 8 helped South Africa cross the 100-run mark.

In an exceptional bowling display, four wickets fell in the last over, bowled by Mohammed. van Niekerk was caught after top-scoring with 36 off 48 deliveries, looking to make the most of the last six balls. She had struggled throughout the innings and was unable to get going. At the crease, she looked uncomfortable and could not find the middle of the bat. The fact that a player as aggressive as her hit only two fours in a 48-ball stay in the middle shows that.

The ball after van Niekerk’s wicket, Kapp hit Mohammed for a boundary. The next ball, she was stumped; the first of Mohammed’s victims on her way to becoming the first West Indian with a Twenty-20 hat-trick in the women’s game. The two other wickets were of Sarah Smith and Masabata Klass. Klass top-edged the ball and as two fielders converged under it, all viewers sat at the edge of their seats’, fearful of a miscommunication or mishap. Thankfully, no such thing happened and Mohammed got the hat-trick she deserved.

The fact that a wicket fell on the last ball of the innings summarized South Africa’s bad day in the field. Mohammed finished with the outstanding figures of 5-24 off her four overs and walked off the field surrounded by the applause of her teammates. Taylor and Matthews were the two other bowlers to pick up wickets as spin did the trick for the hosts’.

Following an exceptional bowling effort, the West Indian batters made light work of the target. Matthews’ (17 off 21) was the only wicket to fall. Natasha McLean (42 off 46) and Taylor (35 off 30) batted sensibly to take their team 2-0 up, with 27 balls to spare.

Luus was the only bowler to take a wicket for the tourists’. However, Kapp’s efforts with the ball should not go unnoticed. She bowled beautifully, keeping her line and length. The West Indian batters were wary of her and did not look to take her on. At the end of her four overs, Kapp had conceded just 13 runs, bowled a maiden over and got hit for only one boundary- a six, that too off a free hit.

With the World Twenty-20 looming, that too in the same conditions where South Africa are struggling, they need to figure out where things are going wrong for them and improve. Lee’s form will also be a big source of worry for the squad.