Temba Bavuma of South Africa drops Andre Russell of West Indies
Temba Bavuma of South Africa drops Andre Russell of West Indies

St. Georges: South Africa's bowlers held their nerve during a thrilling run chase to clinch a win over the West Indies by one run in the third Twenty20 international, giving the Proteas a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

Quinton de Kock scored 72 from 51 balls as South Africa made 167-8 batting first and Tabraiz Shamsi's 2-13 from four overs helped the Proteas defend a total that proved only just adequate.

The West Indies came to the last over, bowled by Kagiso Rabada, needing 15 runs to win with three wickets in hand. Rabada bowled full, angling into the batter and leg stump, supported by a stacked leg-side field, and Fabian Allen and Dwayne Bravo were unable to swing freely.

The over didn't start well for Rabada who just missed his line first ball and conceded a wide. But two of his next three deliveries passed between the batsman's legs; the other went for four.

West Indies took two from the fourth ball, leaving the hosts needing eight runs from the last two deliveries. Rabada tipped the match South Africa's way with a yorker which denied the West Indies a run from the penultimate ball.

Allen struck the last ball of the match for six, finishing 14 not out from nine balls, as the West Indies finished agonisingly short on 166-7.

"Time and time again we have these close matches," West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said.

"Sometimes you end up on the winning side, sometimes you end up on the losing side.

"The last series (against Sri Lanka) we had these nail-biting games and we were on the winning side. For us, we just need to find a way and however that is we have to do it."

Tuesday's match closely followed the pattern of the first two, the West Indies winning the toss and asking South Africa to bat.

In the first match, which the West Indies won by eight wickets, South Africa made 160-6 and in the second, won by South Africa by 16 runs, the Proteas reached 166-7. On both occasions, South Africa started well but didn't finish strongly.

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