The win came amid team turmoil as de Kock sat out the game following a CSA directive for all players to take a knee
South Africa 144 for 2 (Markram 51*, van der Dussen 43*, Hendricks 39, Hosein 1-27) beat West Indies 143 for 8 (Lewis 56, Pretorius 3-17, Maharaj 2-24) by eight wickets
Lewis and Simmons laid a solid foundation for West Indies when they shared in their highest opening stand, 73, in a partnership of two parts. Lewis was the aggressor and smashed 56 off 35 balls, with all of his five fours and two sixes coming on the leg side, while Simmons bided his time, scoring only in singles. Simmons was dropped on 4, off the bowling of Anrich Nortje, by Klaasen and had crept to 13 off 28 balls when Lewis holed out to deep midwicket. Simmons was out three overs later for a 35-ball 16, the joint-longest in terms of balls without a boundary in men’s T20 World Cups and the third slowest World Cup innings after facing 30 or more balls.
With a platform to launch from, West Indies sent in Nicholas Pooran at No. 3, to take on the spinners, above Gayle. That made it the first time Gayle has batted outside the top three for West Indies in a T20I. It didn’t really work for either of them. Pooran scored 12 before being caught by David Miller at long-off but Gayle was there as West Indies entered the final three overs, and had threatened with a six off Tabraiz Shamsi. He became the first wicket in a good death-bowling effort from Dwaine Pretorius, who had Gayle caught behind off a slower ball before Anrich Nortje bowled Andre Russell with a pinpoint yorker, Shimron Hetmyer was run-out, and Pretorius took two-in-two in the last over. South Africa claimed 5 for 22 in the last three overs.
Hendricks hits out, then Hetmyer takes it low
Hendricks would not have played this game if de Kock had not pulled out, but Hendricks made the most of his early opportunity. He went into this game needing seven runs to reach 1000 T20I runs and got there off the seventh ball he faced when he stepped out to hit Akeal Hosein over long-on for the first six of the innings. Hendricks went on to show off his pull, late cut and loft over cover and took South Africa close to halfway before falling to a good catch: in the tenth over, Hendricks pulled Hosein to deep square-leg, where Hetmyer dived forward and got his hands under the ball on the dive. The soft signal was not out, but television replays confirmed the catch was clean and Hendricks was dismissed for 39.
Markram has become South Africa’s highest T20I run-scorer in 2021, and is their highest run-scorer in the format in any calendar year, and has adapted to his role down the order with ease. He arrived at the crease with South Africa needing 83 runs off 10.4 overs and had a little bit of time to settle in. His first shot in anger was to send a full Hayden Walsh Jr delivery over long-on for six, before he meted out the same treatment to Kieron Pollard, over square leg, and then to Ravi Rampaul, over midwicket. Markram provided a perfect foil for van der Dussen, who is not known for scoring overly quickly, and allowed the innings to find a balance between big hits and careful accumulation. They put on 83 runs off 57 balls to guide South Africa to a convincing win.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent