Johannesburg:Hershelle Gibbs and Justin Kemp put up an unbeaten 120-run partnership to lead South Africa to an eight-wicket victory in the opening match of the first ICC Twenty20 World Cup at Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Chasing 206, South Africa was home with 14 balls to spare with Gibbs not out on 90 (55) and Kemp unbeaten on 46 (22).
Chris Gayle was adjudged Man of the Match for his knock of 117.
Requiring a run rate of over 10 per over, South Africa got off to a slow start with only eight runs in the first two overs. They later picked on steam as they came into the third over capitalizing on Ravi Rampaul.
Graeme Smith and Gibbs then took it from there, taking the run rate to 10 per over and showering some good shots around the Wanderers Stadium.
Smith then fell prey to a Rampaul delivery by getting caught by Chris Gayle for 28 runs. Next to follow him was AB de Villiers(16) when he was caught by Denesh Ramdin off a Fidel Edwards delivery.
Gibbs was going strong with his second international Twenty20 half century coming off just 38 deliveries. Gibbs and Kemp put up an unbeaten 120-run partnership to charge the South African chase on track for victory.
Gayle's blazing knock
Earlier, Gayle smashed a blazing century to power West Indies to 205 for six after being put in to bat by South Africa captain Smith.
Openers Gayle and Devon Smith got West Indies off to a blazing start with Gayle coming down heavily on the South African attack, scoring 10 runs off the first over by Shaun Pollock.
Gayle, bludgeoned the South African opening bowlers Pollock and Makhaya Ntini with the former smashing three sixes off the latter.
The duo brought up the first fifty-run stand in the competition in just the sixth over with Gayle doing the bulk of the scoring.
The burly left-hander scored first century of the tournament, getting there in just 47 balls.
DS Smith(35) was caught behind by Mark Boucher off a Vernon Philander delivery. In the next over Marlon Samuels(4) was sent back by Pollock, and in the same over Gayle completed his hundred.
West Indies lost its third wicket when Gayle (117) was caught by Boucher off van der Wath. Gayle now holds the the maximum number of sixes(10) in a Twenty20 international.
This was the sixth instance of a team scoring 200 or more in Twenty20 cricket. Australia have done it thrice, South Africa once and West Indies twice.
For West Indies, Philander and Wath took two wickets each while Pollock and Morkel got one each.
South Africa: Graeme Smith, Herschelle Gibbs, AB de Villiers, Mark Boucher, Justin Kemp, haun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, Albie Morkel, Johan van der wath, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel.
West Indies: Chris Gayle, Devon smith, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Dwayne Smith, Daren Powell, Ravi Rampaul, Fidel Edwards.