Proteas batsman Rassie van der Dussen. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ GORDON ARONS
Proteas batsman Rassie van der Dussen. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ GORDON ARONS

SA refreshed their hopes of making it to the semifinal stage of the ICC T20 World Cup with a clinical eight-wicket destruction of the West Indies at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.

The Proteas crossed the line comfortably, but the victory was overshadowed by the headlines surrounding Quinton de Kock after he made himself unavailable for this match for not wanting to take the knee after being told to by the Cricket SA board.

Proteas captain Temba Bavuma won the toss and inserted the West Indies to bat first. They could only get to 143/8 in their allotted 20 overs with opener Evin Lewis top scoring with a defiant 56 off 53 balls.

During the run chase, the Proteas did not have too many problems as they needed 18.2 overs to reach the target and to recover from the crushing five-wicket defeat to Australia in their opener on Saturday.

The Proteas lost Bavuma (2) in the first over and Reeza Hendricks (39), who replaced De Kock at the top of the batting order, in the 10th over. But Rassie van der Dussen (43) and Aiden Markram (51) helped the team home with a match-winning partnership.

Van der Dussen and Markram put together an unbeaten partnership of 83 off 54 as the Proteas registered their first win of the tournament while condemning the West Indies to their second consecutive defeat.

The Proteas will be looking to continue with this winning momentum and push for a place in the semifinal during their remaining group stage matches, against Sri Lanka on Saturday and Bangladesh and England next week.

Akeal Hosein ended the Windies’ bowling innings with the only wicket, of Hendricks, while Bavuma was run out by Andre Russell with a direct hit thrown from the bowler’s end after he went for a risky single.

During the West Indies innings, their middle and lower order once again failed to produce the required results as it was only Lewis who made a notable contribution. He scored 56, followed by Kieron Pollard with 26 off 20.

It was another woeful performance by the Windies, who were bowled out for a below-par 54 runs by England on Saturday.

The most disappointing part for the batting was that the other eight batters who took to the crease failed to go past the 20-run mark.

Dwaine Pretorius starred for the Proteas with three wickets in two overs in which he accounted for Chris Gayle (12), Hayden Walsh (0) and Kieron Pollard (26).

Pretorius was followed by Keshav Maharaj with the wickets of Nicholas Pooran (12) and Lewis (56), while Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Norjte removed Lendl Simmons (16) and Hayden Walsh (0), respectively.

The other wicket to fall was that of Shimron Hetmyer (1), who was run out by a combination of David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen.

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