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Windies early World Cup exit likely

Sports 27 Oct, 2021 Follow News

Kieron Pollard fears an early World Cup exit

West Indies may be the defending champions at the T20 World Cup but they are heading towards an early exit after a second comprehensive defeat.

Three days after they were bowled out for 55 by England, West Indies saw South Africa cruise to an eight-wicket victory in Dubai. The Proteas chased down 144 with 10 balls to spare for their first tournament win.

However, the match is more likely to be remembered for South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock’s withdrawal after refusing to take a knee.

Defeat leaves West Indies needing to win their final three Group 1 games and hoping results go their way elsewhere to finish in the top two and qualify for the semi-finals. On current form that looks impossible, although with the talent they have confidence should be high.

They face Bangladesh in Sharjah on Friday, while South Africa meet Sri Lanka at the same venue on Sunday.

Although West Indies’ batting line-up looks terrifying, they have been poor. After the England humiliation amid a flurry of rash shots, a change of approach was expected against South Africa.

Opener Lendl Simmons poked and prodded to 16 from 35 balls without a boundary before falling in the 14th over. Conversely, Evin Lewis struck six sixes in his 35-ball 56, while captain Kieron Pollard made 26 off 20. But West Indies faltered thanks to the brilliant bowling of Anrich Nortje and Dwaine Pretorius.

Windies captain Kieron Pollard said: “We have to dig deeper as a team. We have to dig deeper as a batting unit. We have to come out and hold our heads up and try to play a good game of cricket.”

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