Shakera Salman celebrates the wicket of Proteas opener Laura Wolvaardt. Picture: ICC
Shakera Salman celebrates the wicket of Proteas opener Laura Wolvaardt. Picture: ICC
Windies captain Stafanie Taylor claimed a career-best 4/12. Picture: Reuters
Windies captain Stafanie Taylor claimed a career-best 4/12. Picture: Reuters

The Proteas suffered a dreadful collapse in St Lucia on Tuesday evening against hosts West Indies to underline their brittle batting line-up here at the ICC World T2O.

In pursuit of 107, after fast bowler Shabnim Ismail impressed once again with 3/12, South Africa lost 9 for 28 to be dismissed for 76. Spurred on a by a boisterous capacity home crowd, the defending World T2O champions found a heroine in captain Stafanie Taylor.

Leading from the front, despite battling a neck injury, the Windies skipper tore through South Africa’s batting unit to claim a career-best 4/12 that sent the entire tropical island into delirium. After seemingly coasting to victory at 48/1 in the 11th over, the Proteas will look back and wonder how they were eventually defeated by 31 runs.

After a well-set Lizelle Lee (24 off 34 balls, 1x4, 1x6) was caught in the deep off Deandra Dottin, the Proteas dressingroom transformed into a revolving door. The Windies, sensing there was an opportunity to get among the Proteas, and with the crowd being a virtual 12th man, swooped at the opportunity.

Their fielding all evening was out of the top drawer, and no more so than when Dottin raced in from point to pick up and throw down the stumps to send Proteas captain Dane van Niekerk back to the pavilion for just one.

It was the game-changer for South Africa’s batting unit had shown during the warm-up matches that when placed under pressure, it has tended to crack.

Shabnim Ismail's 3-12 was not enough for the Proteas. Picture: ICC

At that’s precisely how the game unfolded. Without their captain Van Niekerk at the crease to hold it all together, the remaining batsmen offered barely any resistance.

Only all-rounder Marizanne Kapp tried valiantly, but she too was caught in the deep for 26 that left the Proteas reeling at 75/7.

The two run outs that brought the curtain down on South Africa’s innings was indicative of the entire evening, with the Proteas simply crumbling under the pressure.