The Match 18 of the ongoing T20 World Cup was always going to be a thrilling contest with West Indies and South Africa looking to bounce back from their respective defeats in previous games. With Quinton de Kock out of the Proteas side due to his stance against the Black Lives Matter movement, the tides shifted in favour of the defending champions ahead of the contest.
However, as the match started, things started to tilt in favour of South Africa courtesy of the struggles of Lendl Simmons in the middle. After being asked to bat first, the West Indies opener could never get going in Dubai as he played such a slow knock which put so much pressure on the other batsmen.
Simmons plays one of the slowest-ever knocks in T20Is
While Evin Lewis was playing brilliantly at one end, Simmons was just playing dot balls at the other end much to the shock of everyone. At times, the right-handed batsman was not even trying to score a boundary which certainly hurt his side. In difficult batting conditions, the best time to score runs was in the powerplay overs but WI did not get enough runs in the early phase due to Simmons' slow knock.
Something that was more baffling for everyone was the fact that the experienced campaigner did not even try to be aggressive against off-spinner Aiden Markram with only two fielders outside the 30-yard circle in first 6 overs.
Simmons was eventually dismissed by Kagiso Rabada in the 14th over but the damage had already been done. His knock of 16 runs in 35 balls absolutely took the sting out of his side's batting as West Indies could only post a total of 143/8 in 20 overs, which was easily chased down by South Africa.
Fans blame Simmons for WI defeat
As expected, the netizens did not spare Simmons for his knock which might have cost the match for West Indies. While some fans sarcastically termed the batsman as 'Man of the Match', others hailed his innings as the best-ever Test knock. One of the users also went on to say that there should be a rule of 'retiring out' when the batsman struggles so much in the middle.