Hail King: Stand-in captain's 79 guides Windies to 28-run win over SA on successful return to Sabina Park

By May 23, 2024
Brandon King made 79 off 45 balls. Brandon King made 79 off 45 balls. file

It was a welcome return of international cricket to Sabina Park, even moreso for stand-in captain Brandon King, who led from the front as West Indies downed South Africa by 28 runs in the first of their three Twenty20 (T20) warm-up encounters on Thursday.

King, who is leading the team for the first time on his home soil, gave the decent size crowd much to cheer about with a well-played 79 off 45 balls, which assisted the Caribbean side to 175-8 from their allotment, before Matthew Forde (3-27), Gudakesh Motie (3-25) and Obed McCoy (2-15), restricted South Africa to 147 in 19.5 overs.

Despite the absence of the main scoreboard –which has been out for almost four years now –as well as an underprepared tabled press area, King and company ensured that the first international game at the venue since 2022, was a successful one.

The 29-year-old, who is deputizing for compatriot Rovman Powell, attributed his Player-of-the-Match knock, which included six fours and six maximums, to the familiar conditions.

“Obviously it is leading up to the World Cup so we want to be playing good cricket and we got the win today, so we are happy with that and I think we played well all around,” King said in a post-game interview.

“I had the advantage of knowing the conditions well and I know that it is easiest to bat when it’s the new ball so I had to try and get a good start and I executed well. At the mid-way point I think we had 200-220 in mind as we had wickets in hand but it is a difficult wicket to bat on when the ball gets older, but we still managed to get a competitive total on this wicket,” he added.

After being asked to take first strike, King started positively, but lost opening partner Johnson Charles (one) in the fourth over with the score at 36.

However, he found another useful ally in Kyle Mayers, and the added a further 79 runs for the second wicket, with King, the aggressor raising his 10th international half-century off 27 balls in the sixth over when he drove a length delivery from Lungi Ngidi to the midwicket boundary.

The skipper continued to take the South African bowlers to task, before he eventually went, reaching for one of Andile Phehlukwayo that came off the toe of the bat and was caught by his opposite number Rassie van der Dussen.

Still, at 115-2 after 11 overs, West Indies remained on course for a massive total, but then came the familiar collapse as they lost three wickets in quick succession. Mayers was first to go for a 25-ball 34, including three sixes and a solitary four, with Andre Fletcher (one) and Fabian Allen (one) following.

In fact, apart from vice-captain Roston Chase, who made a measured unbeaten 32 off 30 balls, which had two fours and a six, none of the batsmen got into double figures.

Phehlukwayo (3-28) and Ottneil Baartman (3-26) did the damage for South Africa.

In reply, South Africa started with Quinton De Cock driving Matthew Forde’s first ball, a full length delivery, straight down the ground. However, the 22-year-old Barbadian responded immediately as he served up another full length delivery, just around off stump, which forced de Kock into another drive, but the left-hander got a slight edge and Andre Fletcher made no mistakes behind the stumps.

Debutant Ryan Rickelton (six) also had a brief stay in the middle, and from there, the visitors laboured, despite Reeza Hendricks making his 15th T20 international half-century. Hendricks, who was ninth man out with just two balls left of the innings, made a career-best 87 off 51 balls with six sixes and six fours.

Captain Rassie van der Dussen (17) and Matthew Breetzke (19) were the only other South African batsmen to reach double figures.

The second and third games of the series are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, at the same venue, ahead of the much-anticipated June-1-29 T20 World Cup hosted in the Caribbean and United States.

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

Related items

  • Bangladesh keep T20 World Cup fate in own hands after commanding Netherlands win Bangladesh keep T20 World Cup fate in own hands after commanding Netherlands win

    Bangladesh keep their T20 World Cup fate in their own hands after a 25-run victory over the Netherlands in St Vincent on Thursday.

    Not only do Bangladesh take one step closer to the Super 8s with their emphatic victory, but they also ensure Sri Lanka are knocked out, while the Netherlands need a string of results to go in their favour.

    The Tigers looked to be up against it after the Netherlands' strong start, as Liton Das made an early exit for just one run thanks to Sybrand Engelbrecht's diving catch.

    However, Tanzid Hassan hit 35 off 26 balls, while Shakib Al Hasan plundered an impressive 64 not out, effectively taking control of the game.

    Mahmudullah's 25 just about saw them over the line before Jaker Ali closed with 14 not out to see them to 159-5.

    The Netherlands soon found their stride after losing two early wickets of their own and looked to be comfortably chasing down their target through Vikramjit Singh (26) and Engelbrecht (33).

    Rishad Hossain soon intervened for Bangladesh though, finishing on 3-33 as the Flying Dutchmen lost four middle-order wickets for six runs and finished with 134-8.

    Data Debrief: Bangladesh just too strong

    Bangladesh narrowly missed out on a win against high-flying South Africa in their last game, but a win like this is exactly what they needed to get back on track.

    Al Hasen was the standout, making a marked improvement on his three runs from the defeat to South Africa with a superb knock of 64 off 46 balls, including nine fours.

  • “This is my dream”: Rutherford rates 68* against New Zealand as best knock of his career “This is my dream”: Rutherford rates 68* against New Zealand as best knock of his career

    West Indies batsman Sherfane Rutherford rates his well-compiled half century against New Zealand at the ICC T20 World Cup on Wednesday as his best knock.

    The 25-year-old came to the crease with the hosts teetering at 22-4 in the sixth over after bring put in to bat at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba.

    On a pitch that he described as “tacky” and “spongy” in the post-match press conference, Rutherford took his time in the early part of his innings before accelerating to a top score of 68* to help the West Indies post a match-winning 149-9 from their allotted 20 overs.

    Rutherford described the innings as perhaps the best of his career, so far.

    “I will put it as my best knock. It’s a World Cup. This is my dream. I’ve always wanted to play in a World Cup and this one is going to stay close to my heart. Hopefully, I can continue to take out good innings like this for my team and for myself,” he said.

    At the halfway point of the innings, the West Indies were 49-5 and Rutherford says head coach Daren Sammy’s advice was to bat time and take it deep.

    “He was just telling me to take it deep. I was batting with Akeal (Hosein) so I told him to keep going but my role was to basically take it to the 15th or 16th over but after we lost wickets I just told myself to try and take it to the 20th over and try and maximize those last two overs which they had to make up with two bowlers,” he said.

    The Guyanese hard-hitter was recently a part of the Indian Premier League with the Kolkata Knight Riders and, despite not getting a game, he says he has been using that time to prepare for situations like the one he faced on Wednesday.

    “I pattern my game off these situations. Even before the World Cup, I try to put myself in positions in the nets where I have to bat properly and then have to excel in the end so I think it’s good to see that my plans and my work are coming to show,” he said.

    He faced a similar situation when the West Indies found themselves 79-5 batting first in the third T20I against Australia in Perth in February.

    Rutherford and Andre Russell put on 139 for the sixth wicket with Rutherford finishing 67* off 40 balls.

    He says the main thing he took from that innings was the importance of giving himself time at the crease.

    “The innings in Australia is one that I kept close to me and, even though it was a good innings, I try to pick a few things out of it. One of the few things was give myself time. It’s always a process and when you look too far ahead you can forget about the process so, for me, it was just ball after ball, give myself time, run singles and get myself ready so that in the back end I can make up,” he said.

    Finally, Rutherford made mention of the crowd at the Brian Lara Stadium.

    “When batting I try not to worry about the crowd. I just try to look at what’s in front of me and focus on the process but it’s good to have some support. It’s good to have the home crowd with us and hopefully they can keep supporting us,” he said.

    The West Indies will next take on Afghanistan at the Daren Sammy Stadium on June 17.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Motie wins ICC Player of the Month award for May Motie wins ICC Player of the Month award for May

    West Indies’ spinner Gudakesh Motie has become just the second player from his side to secure an ICC Men’s Player of the Month award.

    2024 is turning out to be a fairly rewarding year for West Indies players.

    In January, young star Shamar Joseph won the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award for his sensational performance that led to the unforgettable victory over Australia at the Gabba. Now, teammate Motie has secured the Player of the Month award for May 2024.

    The left-arm spinner beat out competition from Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi and Ireland’s Lorcan Tucker to win the award.

    Motie, who continues to shine during the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, had a host of brilliant outings during May.

    He enjoyed plenty of success in the three-match home series against South Africa, picking up eight wickets across three matches at an average of 8.50.

    On the back of his performance, the hosts sealed a statement 3-0 victory in Jamaica.

    Motie picked up 3/25 in the opening contest to restrict the tourists’ chase and he backed that performance up with another impressive spell of three for 22 to stifle the middle-order in the second fixture as well.

    Another two wickets in the final match turned the tide in favour of the hosts once more and allowed the 29-year-old to claim the Player of the Series accolade.

    In the ongoing Men’s T20 World Cup, Motie has shown fine form and picked five wickets at an average of 11.

    Motie was excited to accept the award and is hoping he can continue his excellent recent form and help the West Indies succeed at the T20 World Cup.

    “It means a lot to me and I am very happy to win this award. It’s very encouraging, I have put in a lot of work during this season and I am happy that I am seeing the rewards now," Motie said.

    “The standout performance for me during the series against South Africa was the first game, where I took three for 25. The third wicket that night was my favourite.

    “Playing in a World Cup means a lot to me, and playing at home in front of our fans and knowing the conditions is also special. We have started strongly, playing three games and getting three wins, and I see us going all the way and lifting that cup on 29 June.”

     

     

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.