Jonty Rhodes played a captain’s knock along with Albie Morkel to give South Africa Legends a winning start in their Road Safety World Series campaign at the DY Patil Stadium on Wednesday. The South Africans defeated the West Indies by 6 wickets in Match No.4 of the tournament. This was Brian Lara’s team’s second successive defeat after they lost to India Legends in their first game.

Chasing 144 to win, South Africa achieved the target with nine balls to spare. The win may look easy on paper, but it wasn’t so. The South Africans had lost four wickets for 42 runs and seemed to be heading for a defeat in their opening game.

If not for Rhodes and Morkel s 106-run stand for the fifth wicket, South Africa would have found it tough to cross the finishing line.

Rhodes, who has been a coach in recent times and was returning to cricket after long, never looked out of touch as he went after the bowling with elan. He got an unbeaten 53 off 40 balls including six boundaries and a six.

Morkel was more dangerous, slamming two sixes and six boundaries in his 30-ball 54 not out. The duo finished the game in 18.3 overs.

Earlier, South Africa Legends captain Rhodes after winning the toss put the West Indians to bat first. Africa’s left-arm spinner Paul Harris stole the show in the first innings after scalping three key Windies batters which ensured SA to restrict their opponents to 143/8 in 20 overs after a decent start.

Harris got the wickets of openers Darren Ganga, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and captain Brian Lara. Seamer Albie Morkel got the big hitters Danzel Hyatt and Ridley Jacobs to claim two for 31 while Ryan Mclaren and JJ van der Wath got one-wicket apiece.

West Indies were off to a decent start, thanks to their openers who were on aggressive mode. The duo Ganga and Chanderpaul were involved in a 48-run stand before Harris drew first blood by getting the latter in the seventh over.

Chanderpaul, who got a half-century in the previous game against India Legends, this time failed to capitalise on a good start.

Ganga, too, started on a cautious note but could not make up for it after being castled by Harris for a 32-ball 31.

Next in was Lara, and this time he could not create any magic as he missed a flighted delivery to be bowled by Harris.

The only batsman who looked dominant in the Windies side, Ricardo Powell, ran himself out for a 17-ball 30. The legendary Carl Hooper batted smartly, scoring 18-ball 23, to take West Indies to a respective total of 143.

Brief scores: West Indies Legend 143/8 in 20 overs (D Ganga 31, R Powell 30; P Harris 3/21, A Morkel 2/31) lost to South Africa Legends 146/4 in 18.3 overs (J Rhodes 53*, A Morkel 54*; T Best 2/12) by six wickets

(Media Release)