SA in West Indies
SA edge Windies in nail biter
Dale Steyn celebrates taking Chris Gayle's wicket. (Gallo Images)
St John's - South Africa held off a fast-finishing West Indies to clinch a nailbiting one-run win in their Twenty20 international at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua on Thursday.
Chasing the Proteas 120 for seven the home side had ambled to 33 for two off 10 overs.
But a 68-run second wicket stand between Dwayne Bravo (40) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (29) stabilised the innings before the Windies began the last over needing 15 runs to win.
Seamer Ryan McLaren was tasked with bowling the last over and Darren Sammy (12 not out) raised the hopes of the home crowd by scoring 11 runs off the first four balls.
However, Narsingh Deonarine (3) was run out attempting a second run off the penultimate ball and new man Jerome Taylor could only score a single off the last delivery as West Indies ended on 119 for seven.
The result means that South Africa wins the series 2-0.
After the early loss of Chris Gayle (0) and Andre Fletcher (4), Bravo and Chanderpaul took their time in coming to grips with a pitch that was difficult to score on.
The left-handed Chanderpaul eventually fell in the 15th over when he gloved a delivery from off-spinner Johan Botha to keeper AB de Villiers before Bravo skied a Morne Morkel delivery to long-on.
Botha then removed Ramnaresh Sarwan (6) and Kieron Pollard (12) in the space of three balls to set up the exciting finish.
Botha bowled superbly to finish with figures of three for 22 while Morkel was impressive as he claimed two for 15 off four overs.
Earlier, Taylor turned in an inspired fast bowling performance to finish with figures of three for 15 off four overs.
The 25-year-old Taylor also had the distinction of bowling a wicket maiden, something of a rarity in T20 cricket.
South Africa had looked in all sorts of trouble as they slipped to 59 for five in the 13th over but the innings was given some substance thanks to a 57-run sixth-wicket stand between Botha and debutant David Miller.
The 20-year-old Miller looked at ease in his first international match as he made his way to 33 off 26 balls before the left-hander was run out off the last ball of the innings.
Botha was content to play a supporting role to Miller but he was effective as he scored 23 off 22 balls before he fell in the last over when he sliced a Taylor delivery to mid-off.
After being asked to bat the Proteas were in early trouble when Loots Bosman (0) gloved a Taylor delivery down the leg side to keeper Fletcher.
Graeme Smith (15) and De Villiers (19) battled hard on a two-paced wicket but Smith was bowled by Taylor by a ball that kept very low while De Villiers top-edged a short ball from seamer Sammy to backward point.
JP Duminy (13) also fell to Sammy when he top-edged a delivery to Fletcher before Alviro Petersen (8) was trapped leg-before by left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn.
Sammy proved to be the perfect foil for Taylor as he collected two for 16 off four overs.
West Indies - Chris Gayle (capt), Andre Fletcher (wk), Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Narsingh Deonarine, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy, Sulieman Benn, Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach.
South Africa - Graeme Smith (capt), Loots Bosman, AB de Villiers (wk), JP Duminy, Alviro Petersen, David Miller, Ryan McLaren, Johan Botha, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.