Natasha McLean on her way to 38. ©CWI
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West Indies started their five-match T20I series with a convincing 17-run win over South Africa at the Kensington Oval in Barbados and lead the series 1-0. The hosts set a mere total of 124 to chase, but the visitors ended up scoring 107 at the end of 20 overs.

Batting first, West Indies didn’t get the start which they are accustomed to. They lost their star batter, Hayley Matthews, very cheaply. She scored only 8 runs before getting dismissed by an easy catch to Wolvaardt at cover. Having made her debut in the shortest format of the game, Saarah Smith gave the second breakthrough to South Africa by picking up captain Stefanie Taylor’s wicket; who tried to hit down the leg side but missed the line totally.

They managed to put up only 52 runs at the end of the 10th overs. Natasha McLean, who tried her best to anchor the innings, fell for 38 off 41. Dottin hit two back to back fours in the 14th over to Smith and scored a quickfire 22 off 19 before becoming the second victim of Mali in the 16th over. After her dismissal, both Merissa Aguilleira and Kycia Knight took Windies to 124 at the end of the 20 overs; after being unbeaten at 14.

While chasing 125, South Africa too got a shaky start as they lost both their openers within the powerplay. Middle order batters, Robyn Searle’s 14, Mignon du Preez’s 13 and stand-in skipper Chloe Tyron’s 16-ball 23 were not enough to provide a steady partnership to the team as a direct throw from Afy Fletcher sent Searle to the pavilion. After the runout, she picked up du Preez in the 10th over. Just when Tryon tried to settle down, Fletcher picked up her wicket as well.

Not only with the ball, but Marizanne Kapp also played a great cameo with her bat; scoring a 22-ball 30 with 2 fours and a six. Stafanie Taylor took a brilliant catch on the last ball of the innings and ended up her spell with figures of 4-0-16-3.

Both the teams will play their second T20I match on September 28 in Trinidad, where South Africa will try to bounce back in the series and West Indies will try to keep their momentum on.