Match Report – Kevin Sinclair lead West Indies A to a thrilling one-wicket victory over South Africa A

Kevin Sinclair scored a superb unbeaten half-century to lead West Indies A to a thrilling one-wicket victory over South Africa A at Benoni in the opening match of their three-game series.

Chasing 224 for victory, West Indies suffered a middle-order meltdown before Sinclair hit 80 not out off 149 balls batting with the last four batsmen to earn the win.

The off-spinning all-rounder hit eight fours and three sixes to lead the West Indies A home with the assistance of Akeem Jordan (5), Jayden Seales (12), Shermon Lewis (2) and last man Jair McAlister (5 not out).

Sinclair also had figures of 2 for 64 and 2 for 39 across the two innings of the match at Willowmore Park.

The win gives the West Indies a 1-0 win in the three-match series, with the second game starting on 28 November in East London.

The drama started on the final morning of the match on Friday in Benoni, with the West Indies A team resuming at 8 for 0.

The visitors lost Zachary McCaskie (6) early before Test players Tagenarine Chanderpaul (35) and Kirk McKenzie (36) set about repairing the damage.

However, after the pair were separated, the South African A attack pounced and made sure West Indies A failed to form meaningful partnerships.

Only Kavem Hodge (12) got into double figures as South Africa got rid of vice-captain Tevin Imlach (2) and skipper Joshua Da Silva (5) cheaply.

However, Sinclair rallied the West Indies from a desperate position, dominating partnerships with the lower-order batters to take the West Indies A team to a remarkable win.

The West Indies A got to 224 for 9 off 80.4 overs to take the opening match of the series.

South Africa pacer Mihlali Mpongwana, who dismissed Chanderpaul, McCaskie, and Hodge, ended with figures of 3 for 25 off 14 overs.

Fellow pacer Hardus Viljoen had 2 for 43 while spinner Dane Piet took 2 for 58 in the loss.

Neil Brand scored 104 in the second innings for South Africa A, while Tshepo Moreki took 3 for 56 in the West Indies first innings of 314 for 9 declared.

West Indies A will reflect on several quality individual performances during the match, including the return to form of pacer Jayden Seales.

The T&T fast bowler took 3 for 23 and 2 for 48 on his return to first-class cricket.

Akeem Jordan was the brightest spark for West Indies A with the ball, taking and 3 for 61 and 3 for 58 in the match.

Among the batters, Chanderpaul followed up his first innings 78 with 35 in the second innings.

Sinclair’s brilliant 80 not out went along with his 39 not out in the first innings, further improving his credentials as an emerging all-rounder in West Indies cricket.

The second unofficial Test begins on 28 November at Buffalo Park, East London.

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