South Africa beat West Indies by 1 run in 2nd T20

West Indies was set back off the last ball of the first over when captain Chris Gayle was leg before wicket to Dale Steyn without scoring.

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua (AP) _ South Africa held off a spirited late challenge by West Indies to defend a modest total of 120-7 and win the second Twenty20 international by one run at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Thursday.

South Africa clinched the two-match series following its victory by 13 runs in the first match on Wednesday, and gave the Proteas momentum going into the first of five one-day internationals at the same venue on Saturday.

West Indies was set back off the last ball of the first over when captain Chris Gayle was leg before wicket to Dale Steyn without scoring.

Gayle’s opening partner Andre Fletcher followed for 4 and it took a careful partnership of 68 off 11.5 overs between Dwayne Bravo and left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul to steady the innings. But it heightened the pressure and led to a cluster of wickets to deep field catches as West Indies went for boundaries to boost the scoring rate.

Bravo lofted a catch to Johan Botha off Morne Morkel for 40 from 42 balls. Offspinner Botha, later named player of the match for his bowling and his run-a-ball 23 in the South Africa innings, removed Chanderpaul for 29, Kieron Pollard for 29 and Ramnaesh Sarwan for 6.

Frantic running between the wickets by Darren Sammy and nervous fielding by the South Africans gave West Indies a sniff of victory and brought a crowd of around 4,000 to the edge of their seats.

But the target proved just too much and West Indies could manage only two singles off the last two balls of the innings from Ryan McLaren when it needed four to win.

Earlier, South Africa struggled on a pitch of uneven bounce against steady bowling.

Sent in after Gayle won the toss for the second successive match, its batsmen never came to terms with the conditions.

As he did in the first match, opening batsman Loots Bosman fell for 0 to a tumbling catch by wicketkeeper Fletcher off Jerome Taylor in the first over and, without leading batsman Jacques Kallis, out with a minor injury, South Africa could find no momentum.

It took a sixth-wicket partnership of 57 from 7.5 overs between David Miller and Botha to boost the total.

Miller, a 20-year-old left-hander making his international debut, topscored with 33 off 26 balls with two sixes before he was run out off the last ball of the innings.

Botha scored 23 off 22 balls, hitting two consecutive sixes off fast bowler Kemar Roach in the 19th over.

Taylor was the pick of the West Indies bowlers, claiming 3-14 from his four overs. Sammy took 2-16 from his four.

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