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Ken Borland

SA aren’t fielding their usual sort of attack with Williams on debut, but he has adapted well

Posted on May 03, 2022 by Ken

South Africa aren’t fielding their usual sort of bowling attack against Bangladesh in the first Test at Kingsmead in Durban, with debutant Lizaad Williams one of just two frontline pacemen alongside Duanne Olivier.

Even at domestic level, one would very seldom see a team fielding just two specialist pace bowlers.

So it’s all a bit of a strange experience for Williams, the 28-year-old playing in his first Test after a journeyman career that has taken off spectacularly since his move to the Titans in 2020.

But he has adapted well and he finished his first innings as a Test bowler with impressive figures of 3/54 in 18.5 overs as Bangladesh were bowled out for 298 on the third day. That gave the Proteas a 69-run first-innings lead, which they extended to 75 by reaching 6/0 in the four overs possible before bad light and rain stopped play.

“We’re two different kinds of bowlers, Duanne gets more bounce while I just try and hit the pitch six-to-seven metres out and the ball squats a bit,” Williams said on Saturday.

“That combination worked well for us but we could have bowled even better. I must say, it is a bit of a weird pitch, both new balls seemed to do a bit less, which is not normal and I don’t know why.

“But in Test cricket not everything is going to be in your favour, but I do still think this is a result pitch.

“I was very delighted to get my first wicket. It was always my dream to play Test cricket, growing up, it was always what I was working towards. It’s your most difficult format and to be able to contribute to my team was great,” Williams said.

Lithe and athletic, with a straight-lines action and the ability to zip the ball around at good pace, the 5’10 Williams certainly has the fast bowling gene. He is slippery, consistently touching the 140km/h mark, and he has the confidence of fine form in domestic cricket to bolster him.

A graduate of the University of the Western Cape, having been schooled at Weston Secondary School and Hugenote Hoerskool, he was born in Vredenburg on October 1, 1993. Having played for Boland Schools for three years, his talent was obvious and he was capped for SA Schools in 2010, from where he made the SA U19 team in 2011 and 2012, also playing in the Junior World Cup.

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