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Ken Borland

Pretorius announces himself as the Proteas’ new death-bowling star

Posted on December 17, 2021 by Ken

Dwaine Pretorius has announced himself as a new death-bowling star for the Proteas and he knows that his role will once again be vital against Bangladesh in their crucial T20 World Cup match in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

In a low-scoring tournament, a huge premium is being placed on the last few overs when teams go for broke and the size of the boost they give themselves is often the difference between winning and losing.

So far in the three matches South Africa have played, Pretorius has taken six wickets for 60 runs in 8.4 overs, the majority of those bowled at the death. The all-rounder has executed a clever plan of bowling full and wide of off-stump to great effect.

“So far in this competition it looks like teams are taking care in the powerplay because if you lose two wickets up front you’re in trouble,” Pretorius said on Monday.

“I think Bangladesh will also try to take it deep like Sri Lanka did and then have a go at the death. It’s up to us to upset that and ensure it doesn’t go according to plan for them.

“There are dangers at the death in being too predictable, so I try and vary my pace and length, although the line stays the same. It’s not an ego-battle at the death, you just want to be as effective as possible.

“I want to bowl to a batsman’s Plan B or C rather than their Plan A. It doesn’t look too fancy but I’m happy to do the ugly job and I’ve worked on a lot of different variations of slower balls,” Pretorius said.

The 32-year-old said the great fighting spirit the Proteas have shown thus far is down to their becoming like a family, and they have promised to keep fighting to the end.

“It’s actually astonished me how this team has stuck together no matter what controversies at CSA or wherever. We are really forming a family, and that’s one of the positives of Covid bubbles – you are forced to spend a lot of time together.

“We will not stop fighting until the last ball and you have seen that in our three games so far. It’s a promise we make to each other every day. There’s an awesome spirit in the camp and a win like the one over Sri Lanka just does even more for that.

“But we are keeping our heads down, we understand that there are two very important games left. We must win tomorrow or the England game won’t matter.

“It’s knockout cricket now and you can see the intensity is there in the squad. We will leave everything on the field against Bangladesh, play at the highest intensity,” Pretorius promised.

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