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WI vs SA, 1st T20I: King leads West Indies to 28-run win over South Africa

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Stand-in captain Brandon King made 79 as West Indies defeated South Africa by 28 runs in the first Twenty 20 international of a three-game series in Kingston on Thursday.

Opener King, deputising for skipper Rovman Powell who has been away on IPL duty, racked up his runs off 45 balls with six sixes and six boundaries as West Indies made 175-8 in its 20 overs.

In reply, South Africa laboured to 147 all out despite Reeza Hendricks making his 15th T20 international half-century.

“I know the conditions well, which was an advantage,” said man-of-the-match King who was playing at his home Sabina Park ground.

“We knew we had to go hard against the new ball as it’d get tougher later. We had 200-220 in mind as we had wickets in hand but fell short on a tough pitch.”

South Africa never recovered from losing star opener Quinton de Kock for just four in the first over.

Fellow opener Hendricks was ninth man out with just two balls left of the innings, making a career-best 87 off 51 balls with six sixes and six fours.

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The Proteas struggled to gain momentum and after taking 10 overs to make just 77, wickets fell at regular intervals.

West Indies spinner Gudakesh Motie returned figures of 3-25, ripping the heart out of the middle order including captain Rassie van der Dussen for 17.

Matthew Breetzke (19) was the only other South African batsman to reach double figures.

Fast bowler Matthew Forde, playing only his second T20 international, took 3-27, dismissing De Kock and then Hendricks and Ottneil Baartman off successive balls to end the South African innings on the fifth delivery of the last over.

“West Indies played differently to what we had anticipated,” said Van der Dussen.

“Had they not started so well it’d have been different but we need to learn to adapt quicker.”

Making the most of his local knowledge, 29-year-old King registered his 10th international half-century.

He shared a 79-run partnership for the second wicket with Kyle Mayers who hit 34 from 25 balls with three sixes and one four.

Together, they took the West Indies, two-time world champions in the game’s shortest format, to 109-1 after 10 overs.

South African all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo then applied the brakes with his medium pace, dismissing King before sending back Andre Fletcher and Fabian Allen in the space of four balls in the 15th over.

Phehlukwayo finished with impressive figures of 3-28 from his four overs.

Fast bowler Baartman also shone on his debut with 3-26, dismissing opener Johnson Charles (one), Akeal Hosein (two) and Forde (five).

Roston Chase finished undefeated with his 32 occupying 30 deliveries.

The second and third games of the series are also being played in Kingston on Saturday and Sunday ahead of the T20 World Cup hosted by the West Indies and the United States which starts on June 1.

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