Brandon King leads West Indies to 28-run win over South Africa Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

T20 World Cup co-hosts West Indies defeated South Africa by 28 runs in the first Twenty 20 international of a three-game series at Sabina Park in Kingston on Thursday.

Brandon King, stepping in for skipper Rovman Powell who is on IPL duty, scored a commanding 79, propelling West Indies to a total of 175 for 8 in their allotted 20 overs. King’s innings, featuring six sixes and six boundaries, came off just 45 balls.

South Africa struggled in response, managing 147 all out off 19.5 overs despite a resilient 87 from Reeza Hendricks, marking his 15th T20 international half-century.

King, leveraging his familiarity with the local conditions, notched his 10th international half-century. The 29-year-old Jamaican combined with Kyle Mayers in a 79-run second-wicket stand. Mayers contributed 34 from 25 balls, hitting three sixes and one four. Their partnership helped the West Indies, two-time T20 World Cup champions, reach 109 for 1 after 10 overs.

South African all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo then disrupted the West Indies innings with his medium pace, claiming three wickets in the 15th over. He dismissed King, followed by Andre Fletcher and Fabian Allen within four balls, finishing with impressive figures of 3-28 from his four overs.

Debutant fast bowler Ottneil Baartman also made an impact, taking 3-26. He removed opener Johnson Charles (1), Akeal Hosein (2), and Matthew Forde (5).

Roston Chase remained unbeaten, scoring 32 off 30 deliveries.

“I know the conditions well, which was an advantage,” said man-of-the-match King who was playing at his home Sabina Park ground.

“We knew we had to go hard against the new ball as it’d get tougher later. We had 200-220 in mind as we had wickets in hand but fell short on a tough pitch.”

South Africa never recovered from losing star opener Quinton de Kock for just four in the first over.

Fellow opener Hendricks was the ninth wicket to fall, making a career-best 87 off 51 balls, including six sixes and six fours.

The Proteas struggled to build momentum, managing just 77 runs in the first 10 overs before losing wickets at regular intervals.

West Indies spinner Gudakesh Motie dismantled the middle order, taking 3-25, including the crucial wicket of captain Rassie van der Dussen for 17.

Matthew Breetzke (19) was the only other South African batsman to reach double figures.

Fast bowler Forde, playing in just his second T20 international, claimed 3-27. He dismissed de Kock and then took the wickets of Hendricks and Baartman with successive deliveries to conclude South Africa’s innings on the fifth ball of the final over.

“West Indies played differently to what we had anticipated,” said Van der Dussen.

“Had they not started so well it’d have been different but we need to learn to adapt quicker.”

The second and third games of the series are also being played in Kingston on Saturday and Sunday ahead of the T20 World Cup hosted by the West Indies and the United States which starts on June 1.