West Indies lose to Proteas but still have chance at semis

LONDON, England -- West Indies batsman Lendl Simmons played some dazzling strokes in a sensational 77 from just 50 balls but the West Indies fell to South Africa by 20 runs in their ICC Twenty20 World Championship match at The Oval, on Saturday afternoon.

Watched by a capacity crowd, the 24-year-old right-hander was fluent and classy, hitting 12 fours and a big six but the West Indies could only muster 163-9 from their 20 overs in reply to a challenging 183-7 off 20 overs by the Proteas. The knock followed by a brave 44 from 37 balls Simmons made on Friday at Lord’s when the West Indies defeated defending champions India by seven wickets.

The Man-of-the-Match was left-arm pace bowler Wayne Parnell who had the excellent figures of 4-13 from four overs for South Africa.

After the match West Indies captain Chris Gayle said the team was disappointed with the result. He noted: “It’s disappointing to lose, but I have to commend the guys for the efforts that they put in after the victory against India yesterday and then coming here.”

Gayle said his team plans to give it their all when they face England in the final Group E Super Eights match on Monday at The Oval, as they seek a spot in the semi-finals.

“Simmons batted really well to give us a chance. He is in good form, and we have an important game to go against England. We have a good chance against them … we will be going all out for a victory in that match. Even though we lost against South Africa we still believe we have the ability to reach the semi-finals and beyond. There is still a lot to play for,” Gayle said.

Earlier in the day the South African batsmen got off to a good start, but pacer Jerome Taylor responded well with a good second spell to end with 3-30.