Evin Lewis smashed a quickfire half-century before West Indies lost the plot to manage a modest 143 for eight against South Africa in a Super 12 match of the ICC T20 World Cup here on Tuesday.
Lewis (56) and Lendl Simmons (16) got West Indies off to a flier. The duo put on 73 runs off 63 balls for the opening stand before West Indies lost wickets at regular intervals.
Lewis did the bulk of the scoring in the partnership. He showed his aggressive intent from the beginning, hitting Kagiso Rabada for a boundary over backward point and then lofted the bowler straight over his head in the next ball.
Next, it was Aiden Markram's turn to face Lewis' wrath as the batter struck two sixes and a four in successive balls to garner 18 runs in the fifth over. Lewis then smashed Anrich Nortje over mid-off but a ball later the bowler induced a thin edge from Simmons which wicket-keeper Henrich Klaasen failed to hold.
Lewis was in ominous form as he didn't spare a single South Africa bowler. He brought up his fifty in style, slog sweeping Tabraiz Shamsi over deep square-leg to reach landmark in just 32 balls.
Lewis continued in the same vein after his fifty and clobbered Keshav Maharaj for a six but finally perished a ball later in search of one too many, holed out to Rabada at deep midwicket. He struck three fours and six sixes during his 35-ball knock.
Two more quick wickets, somewhat, put a brake on West Indies' charge after the brilliant start given by Lewis. But Simmons stay was struggle as his 35-ball innings was the joint-longest in terms of balls without a boundary in men's T20 World Cup.
Nicholas Pooran (12 off 7) stay was shortlived as he became Maharaj's second victim, caught by David Miller and then Simmons was castled by Rabada in the next over. Shamsi was taken to task by West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard and Chris Gayle, hitting the left-arm spinner for a six each in the 16th over.
Gayle's run-a-ball 12 knock was cut short by Dwaine Pretorius before Andre Russell was cleaned up by Nortje in the next over. Shimron Hetmyer was run out a ball later to compound West Indies problems. Pollard made 26 off 20 balls but failed to push up the scoring towards the end.
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