Cricket-S Africa win despite de Kock blow, Windies fumble again

Cricket - ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 - Super 12 - Group 1 - South Africa v West Indies - Dubai International Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - October 26, 2021 West Indies' Dwayne Bravo in action REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

DUBAI (Reuters) -The West Indies' title defence ran into trouble after they succumbed to their second successive defeat in the Twenty20 World Cup against South Africa who revived their own campaign with an eight-wicket victory on Tuesday.

The Group I contest pitted two teams who badly needed victory to rekindle their semi-final hopes after being beaten in their respective Super 12 stage openers.

South Africa suffered a jolt even before a single ball was bowled as wicket keeper-batsman Quinton de Kock defied a team order to take a knee and sat out the match over what skipper Temba Bavuma called "personal reasons".

They still managed to restrict West Indies to 143-8 and rode Aiden Markram's blistering half-century to chase down the target with 10 balls to spare.

"That was obviously the plan, to come in here to win, to get our campaign started," Bavuma said after his team bounced back from Saturday's defeat by Australia.

"After the first game we knew that there were areas that we had to improve within our game, more particularly with the bat.

"To go out there and be clinical with the bat, that's a good step in the right direction."

Three days after England bundled them out for an embarrassing 55 at the same venue, the West Indies put up an improved batting show but could not quite capitalise on a strong start after being put into bat.

Lendl Simmons struggled to get going but Evin Lewis smashed six sixes in his belligerent 56 to give the defending champions a decent start.

Skipper Kieron Pollard made a brisk 26 but the West Indies still fell well short of the 175-mark, which had looked well within their reach at one stage.

"I'm obviously disappointed. I thought we left about 20, 25 runs short out there when we batted, and that could have made a difference..." Pollard said.

"We got off to a pretty decent start in terms of getting that 40-odd in the powerplay without losing a wicket, and that was our opportunity to... try to get to that 160."

South Africa stuttered early in their chase with Andre Russell removing Bavuma with a direct hit in the first over.

Reeza Hendricks then partnered Rassie van der Dussen, who made 43 not out, to steady South Africa.

After Hendricks departed for 39, van der Dussen anchored the chase while Markram, who made 51 not out off 26 balls, went ballistic at the other end.

Markram brought up his 50 with his fourth six to level the score and scored the winning run off the next delivery from Russell.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in Dubai; editing by Nick Macfie)

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