Solid batting display helps South Africa to an 8-wicket victory against WI

Aiden Markam scored his half-century off only 25 deliveries

Solid batting display helps South Africa to an 8-wicket victory against WI PHOTO COURTESY: ICC

South Africa have registered an emphatic victory by 8 wickets over West Indies in an all-important game after both teams lost their opening matches.

Hours before the game, it was announced that Proteas batter Quinton de Kock has opted out of the game and cited 'personal reasons for his absence. However, it was revealed later that the opening batsman made himself unavailable after the South African team was asked to take a knee to showcase solidarity against racism.

Reeza Hendricks was named as Quinton's replacement, who played an important 39-run knock at the top which set South Africa up for an 8-wicket victory.

The game started with South Africa winning the toss and skipper Temba Bavuma decided to field first.

Evin Lewis got to his half-century in just 35 balls while his opening partner Lendl Simmons struggled to stamp his authority on the game, managing only 16 runs off of 35 deliveries.

Chris Gayle was demoted down the order as Nicholas Pooran came one-down; both managed 12 runs, however, failing to better West Indies' situation after Simmons' disastrous innings.

After failing to keep their run rate up, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell were required to score runs quickly but Proteas bowlers were quick to cut off their threat.

Skipper Pollard was dismissed by Pretorius, who had already dismissed Chris Gayle earlier on and later sent Hayden Walsh back to the pavilion for a golden duck. Keshav Maharaj took two wickets while Nortje and Rabada picked up a wicket each.

Anrich Nortje, who was named player of the match, was the pick of the bowlers as he returned the figures of 1-14 from his four overs.

In return, South Africa lost their skipper in the first over thanks to Andre Russell's athleticism in the field. Hendricks and van der Dussen put up a 57-run partnership to put their team back in the driving seat.

Hendricks was removed by Hosein after Shimron Hetmyer took a brilliant diving catch in the deep. van der Dussen continued his good run and was joined by Aiden Markam, both managing unbeaten 43*, and 52* respectively to guide South Africa to a crucial victory.

West Indies bowling unit failed to press the Proteas as the only wicket was taken by Akeal Hosein.