Deandra Dottin scored an impressive 48 from 30 balls to lead the West Indies women to a eight-wicket victory over South Africa, opening their Twenty20 (T20) account on a positive note in Gros Islet, St Lucia on Saturday night. Dottin, who was playing her 50th international T20 for the Windies, gave a player of the match winning performance to get her side the one-nil lead in the two-match series.
South Africa won the toss and chose to bat first, scoring 12 runs off the first over thanks to below average bowling from Shakera Selman and back to back boundaries from Shandré Fritz. They followed this up by promptly losing Savannah Cordes without scoring in the second over. Fritz (17) and Marizanne Kapp (4) followed in the sixth and eighth overs, leaving South Africa limping on 38/3.
Captain, Mignon du Preez (39) and Cri-Zelda Brits shared a 57-run partnership for the fourth wicket to steady the innings before Brits was removed for 36 by the dangerous Stefanie Taylor. Du Preez went on to partner with Dané van Niekerk for 15 runs before the skipper was caught behind, Taylor striking once more.
The hosts put a hundred percent into their fielding and bowling efforts, Shanel Daley, Shaquana Quintine and Taylor all returned with two wickets each to restrict the visitors to 113/7 in their allotted 20 overs.
In reply, the Windies proved a lot more difficult to eliminate. After the fall of Taylor's (13) wicket at the end of the fourth over, it took another six overs before another wicket would fall. Shemaine Campbelle was stumped for 14 off veteran, Sunette Loubser's bowling.
The Windies continued with business as usual, doing well to rotate the strike until the weather decided to put a pause to proceedings in the 12th over. Fortunately, it was a passing shower and the field was quickly returned to its match-ready glory. South Africa breathed a sigh of relief as the hosts were eight runs ahead of Duckworth/Lewis and still believed they could salvage the match.
They did not account for the 68-run, third wicket partnership between Dottin and Kycia Knight (33*), which would go on to win the match with 10 balls to spare.
The second and final T20 will take place on Sunday evening. Play is set to begin at 22:00 South African time at the Beausejour Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia.