St George’s (Grenada) : Evin Lewis went on a six-hitting spree as West Indies scored a morale-boosting eight-wicket win against South Africa in the opening T20 International here.After the disappointment of losing both the Test matches to the Proteas by big margins at St. Lucia, the gloom in the home team camp was partially lifted when Lewis smashed seven sixes and four boundaries in his 71-run knock to upend South Africa’s total of 160/6 in the allotted 20 overs for the loss of just two wickets and with five overs to spare.Lewis led the charge, taking just 35 deliveries to reach his 71. His opening partnership of 85 with Andre Fletcher (30) laid the foundation for the big win for the two-time T20 world champions on Saturday.After the openers fell, Andre Russell and Chris Gayle took the home side to victory with an unbroken partnership of 37 in three overs.Playing his 50th T20I for West Indies, Russell smashed his first ball for a six into the stands and ended the match with another maximum as the West Indies sped to 161/2 off 15 overs. He ended on 23 not out, while Gayle made 32 not out.Earlier, sent in to bat, the Proteas got a flourishing start with Rassie van der Dussen scoring a 38-ball unbeaten 56, but then stuttered to end on 160/6 off their 20 overs. Opener Quinton de Kock chipped in with a breezy 24-ball 37 while captain Temba Bavuma got 22 off 20 balls but no other batsman managed to pass 20.
Lewis was named Player of the Match.
Brief scores: South Africa 160/6 in 20 overs (Q de Kock 37, RV der Dussen 56 not out; F Allen 2/18, D Bravo 2/30) lost to West Indies 161/2 in 15 overs (A Fletcher 30, E Lewis 71, C Gayle 32 not out, A Russell 23 not out).