Brandon King leads West Indies to opening T20 victory over Proteas

Brandon King leads West Indies to opening T20 victory over Proteas

Brandon King's half-century propelled the West Indies to a 28-run victory over South Africa in their T20 International at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica.

The win marks the West Indies' largest margin of victory over South Africa in T20Is, giving them a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Put in to bat first, the West Indies posted a formidable total of 175 for eight.

King's return to the side was nothing short of spectacular. The 29-year-old, coming back from injury, hammered 79 off 45 balls, including six fours and six sixes. His innings, featuring a rapid 26-ball half-century, was the cornerstone of the West Indies' batting effort.

King's dominance in the powerplay saw him score 29 of the 36 runs in his opening stand with Johnson Charles, and 50 of the 79 runs in a second-wicket partnership with Kyle Mayers. Mayers, despite a slow start, accelerated to a solid 34 off 25 balls before his dismissal.

Following the departures of King and Mayers, the West Indies struggled to maintain momentum, adding only 40 runs in the next 6.3 overs. Roston Chase, however, held his ground with an unbeaten 32 off 30 balls, ensuring the team reached a competitive total.

On debut, South African bowler Ottniel Baartman impressed with figures of three for 26, while Andile Phehlukwayo also claimed three wickets, for 28 runs.

In response, South Africa faltered early, losing Quinton de Kock (4 runs) and Ryan Rickelton (6) within the first two overs. Despite a brief resurgence from Matthew Breetzke, who hit three consecutive boundaries before being trapped lbw by Shamar Joseph for 19, the visitors never fully recovered.

Reeza Hendricks played a lone hand for South Africa, scoring a career-best 87 off 51 balls, adorned with six fours and six sixes. His valiant effort, however, was in vain as wickets tumbled around him. Hendricks shared a 42-run partnership with Rassie van der Dussen, but following van der Dussen's dismissal for 17 runs, the South African innings crumbled. Andile Phehlukwayo's dismissal left Hendricks with only the tail to support him, and despite a 39-run ninth-wicket stand with Lungi Ngidi, the target remained out of reach.

West Indies' bowlers were clinical, particularly spinners Gudakesh Motie and Matthew Forde. Motie claimed three wickets for 25 runs in his four overs, the best figures of the match, while Forde took three for 27 in 2.5 overs. The spinners' effectiveness contrasted sharply with their South African counterparts, who struggled to extract similar turn and control.

Ultimately, the West Indies' balanced performance with both bat and ball secured a comfortable win, setting the tone for the remainder of the series.