New skipper Powell powers West Indies to South Africa victory
West Indies' Rovman Powell ducks under a ball delivered by South Africa's Anrich Nortje (not seen) during the first T20 international cricket match between South Africa and West Indies at SuperSport Park in Centurion on March 25, 2023. (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE / AFP)

CENTURION, South Africa, (AFP) – New West Indies captain Rovman Powell thrashed five sixes as he led his team to a three-wicket victory over South Africa in a rain-shortened first Twenty20 international at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Saturday.

The match was reduced to 11 overs a side but produced 263 runs and 15 wickets in a frantic contest.

Powell, who took over from Nicholas Pooran last month, hit 43 not out off 18 balls as the West Indies chased down a South African total of 131 for eight with three balls to spare.

He said the reduction in overs suited several of his players.

"A lot of the guys in the team are used to the T10 format," he said.

"We know the ball travels so much here, so 130 was gettable."

Opener Brandon King hit 23 off eight balls and Johnson Charles slammed 28 off 14 deliveries as the West Indies made an explosive start, scoring 84 for four in the first six overs.

David Miller clubbed 48 off 22 balls in South Africa's innings.

Wickets fell almost rapidly as boundaries were hit but Miller ensured a competitive total, hitting four fours and three sixes.

He and burly fast bowler Sisanda Magala smacked 47 off 13 balls for the seventh wicket.

Left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell took two wickets for seven runs in his first two overs but conceded 24 runs in the tenth over as Miller and Magala went on the rampage.

Magala hit a four and two sixes in an unbeaten 18 off five balls.

South African captain Aiden Markram said his team had started badly with both bat and ball.

"To take it to the last over was a great effort from the bowlers," he said.

Anrich Nortje took one for 17 in three overs of high-class fast bowling and Magala took three for 21, including two wickets in the penultimate over.

But spinners Bjorn Fortuin and Tabraiz Shamsi conceded a combined 69 runs off four overs.

The teams meet at the same venue on Sunday.

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