SA put heroics behind them, turn to second T20
England have shown more than once on tour that they can come back after losing the first match of the series
After salvaging an unexpected but welcome one-run win over England in their opening T20 in East London on Wednesday‚ Proteas batsman Temba Bavuma said they need more of those types of wins to help them prepare for pressure situations in tournaments.
The Proteas are known to find various ways of losing pressure matches in International Cricket Council (ICC) tournaments‚ but they have also learnt the hard way that what happens in bilateral matches has no bearing on ICC tournaments.
They have a second T20 in Durban to drive home their advantage‚ even though England have more than once shown on this tour that they are not disadvantaged by losing the opening game.
“We know at the back of our minds that these types of wins‚ we want to be able to scrape them when they really matter in the big events,” Bavuma said.
“We know that we’re going to be called upon to do that again and the best time is to start that against top teams like England. There’s a lot of confidence we’re going to take from the East London victory.”
SA’s batting started well but faltered‚ but in Lungi Ngidi they had a death bowler who can be counted on despite fitness issues.
Ngidi defended seven off the final over without raising much of a sweat.
Bavuma though knows how critical the match-winning performance was for Ngidi‚ especially after the underwhelming Pink Day ODI performance.
“It was massive for Lungi from a belief and a confidence point of view. He didn’t have the best of games in the Pink ODI by his own admission.
“He would’ve had the hunger and the will to do right for the team and what better moment to do it in the last over when you have to defend only seven runs‚” Bavuma said.
The weather should not have a say in Friday’s game in Durban‚ but Bavuma knows the second T20 will be a different game with a new set of challenges.
“We can take all the learning we can from this game into the next one. It’ll be important that we rock up in Durban with all the confidence and momentum.
“It’s another game that’ll probably present different challenges and it’ll be important that we rock up‚” Bavuma said.
“We don’t want a situation where we go to Centurion at 1-1 and we probably think we have the upper hand on the England side at this point. It’ll be important for us to use the advantage we have.”