Tabraiz Shamsi enhanced his reputation as the top T20 bowler in the international game by inspiring South Africa to a thrilling one-run victory over the West Indies in the third of their five-match series at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada on Tuesday.
Defending another moderate total of 167-8 after they were put in to bat for the third time in the series, the left-arm wrist spinner bowled his most economical four-over spell in conceding just 13 runs for the important wickets of Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer.
Yet, as well as he bowled, and as much as the vaunted West Indies power hitters stuttered for the second consecutive match, the duel still came down to the final over bowled by Kagiso Rabada with 15 runs needed.
Fabian Allen struck an early boundary and then a six off the last ball of the match, but the pacer had held his nerve in between those wayward deliveries to limit the home side to 166-7.
South Africa now take a 2-1 lead going into the fourth match at the same venue on Thursday.
Lewis and Nicholas Pooran were the joint top-scorers for the West Indies with 27 while Andre Russell contributed 25.
“We faced a lot of criticism after we lost the first match so badly, so I am really proud of how we have fought back in the last two matches,” said Shamsi after receiving the man-of-the-match award.
“These pitches are getting harder and harder to score runs and while I would have obviously liked a bigger total to defend, I felt we had a good chance once we stuck to our plans, and on this occasion, it all worked out well for us in the end.”
© Agence France-Presse