Morne van Wyk got to his maiden T20I century © Getty Images
Morne van Wyk got to his maiden T20I century © Getty Images

The highly inconsequential Third Twenty20 International between South Africa and West Indies was not devoid of quotidian entertainment. For Morne van Wyk and David Wiese it was even special. Ankur Dhawan highlights some noteworthy performances and moments from the match.
Morne van Wyk and Reeza Hendricks finally open up: South Africa had been tweaking and tinkering with their opening combination since the first match at Cape Town. At Durban, for the third Twenty20 International (T20I), they came a full circle to revert to van Wyk who’d been a constant, and Reeza Hendricks. The duo matched each other shot for shot from the outset and were nip and tuck for most of the innings like a pair of legs in motion. The pair was instrumental in setting up the win for South Africa with a 111-run opening stand in 76 balls.

Morne van Wyk’s crowning moment: T20Is may not be the pinnacle of the sport but for some who are unlikely to represent their country in the longer formats it remains the springboard on which to showcase their talents. Van Wyk in his 30’s had flatlined in the T20I series but redeemed himself before the curtain was drawn on his stage as he completed a maiden international hundred for South Africa. He also carried his bat, which is seldom witnessed, to finish with 114 not out off 70 balls and powered South Africa to a mammoth 195 for three in the process.
Lendl Simmons’ assault:  Chris Gayle’s absence from a T20 side is bound to leave a void that is impossible to fill. But his replacement, Simmons, ensured round the clock entertainment. It was naked aggression as he danced down the wicket to loft the ball straight down the ground and, at other times, used the depth of the crease beautifully to make yorkers into length balls that he could tonk. He swivel pulled, he cut, he drove and South Africa momentarily shuddered under the pounding as he singlehandedly took West Indies to 57 in the powerplay.
David Wiese’s fifer: While the ball was flying to the boundary left, right and centre, an uneasy feeling of déjà vu may have been sneaking in on the South Africans before David Wiese sprung into action and restored sanity to proceedings. Wiese stalled the West Indies’ charge, making timely breakthroughs for his side. He got rid of Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons and Dwayne Bravo to take the sizzle out of the West Indian batting firepower. He came back into the attack to snaffle another couple of wickets to finish with a coveted five wicket haul, which was richly deserved. He narrowly missed out on the man of the match award to van Wyk as bowlers often do.
Kieron Pollard’s strange innings: For Pollard there was enough context to this game considering what’s transpired behind the scenes and this was also his last match on tour. His apparently inexplicable omission from the World Cup squad was even harangued by Chris Gayle. Pollard though failed to justify his inclusion even in the T20I squad with the most insipid batting performance. In a run chase that warranted him to play with gay abandon, he struggled to get the ball off the square. In fact, there was no discernible attempt to take on the bowling on his part.  His painstaking plodding at unbeaten 20 did not even include a single hit to the fence.

 

(Ankur Dhawan is a reporter with CricketCountry. Heavily influenced by dystopian novels, he naturally has about 59 conspiracy theories for every moment in the game of cricket. On finding a direct link between his head and the tip of his fingers, he also writes about it)