Mumbai: After Irfan Pathan’s heist against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, Dr DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai witnessed another day of a comeback as Jonty Rhodes (53 off 40) and Albie Morkel (54 off 30) scripted a memorable win for the South African Legends in the fourth match of the Road Safety World Series on Wednesday.
South Africa were reeling at 42-4 inside nine overs while chasing a below-par 143/8 set by West Indies Legends. However, a 104-run stand between skipper Rhodes and man of the match Morkel made it look easy in the end as they registered a win in their opening game with nine balls to spare.
For West Indies, it was their second loss in as many matches and to qualify for the final, next two matches against Australia Legends and Sri Lanka Legends become must-win games.
Earlier, put in to bat by South Africa, West Indies got off to a good start as openers Daren Ganga (31 off 32) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (21 off 17) kept the South African pacers at bay. The duo made sure no wickets fell in the powerplay and raced to 44/0 at the end of six overs.
However, introduction of spin from South Africa on a slow track paid dividends quickly. In the fourth ball of the seventh over, Paul Harris’ (4-021-3) flighted off-turner lured Chanderpaul into playing his trademark sweep in the air, which only travelled till deep fine-leg’s throat.
After the dismissal, West Indies failed to carry forward the momentum and the run-rate decreased sharply. Ganga wasn’t flowing freely either and Harris struck for the second time in the ninth over.
With both openers now back in the pavilion, Brian Lara (4 off 8) walked in with huge cheers from a sparse crowd. The biggest legend of the Caribbean line-up too failed to get going and Harris went through his gates to grab his third in as many overs.
West Indies were now struggling at 68/3 after 11 overs and Ricardo Powell, Danza Hyatt – the two strongest hitters of the side, were at the crease. In a bid to increase the run-rate, Powell took on Andrew Hall and bludgeoned 13 runs in the 12th over, also striking first six of the match in the process. In the next two overs, West Indies scored 21 runs to get the rate back on track.
With 102/3 on board at the end of the 14 overs, West Indies looked poised for a 160-plus score. However, two wickets and a run-out in the fifteenth over bowled by Albie Morkel (4-0-31-2) pegged back their hopes.
Carl Hooper (23 off 18) and Tino Best (11 off 12) tried to up the ante but with the last five overs yielding only 36 runs, West Indies finished at 143/8, which ended up being at least 20 runs short.