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Ken Borland

Proteas will need to bounce back from disaster to previous triumphs again

Posted on September 01, 2022 by Ken

One of the triumphs of this current Proteas team has been the way they have been able to bounce back from disastrous performances relatively quickly and they will need to do that again on Sunday as they play the English side that tore their batting apart to level the series in Manchester, in the decisive third ODI at Headingley.

South Africa, having impressed with the ball to bowl England out for 201 inside their 29 overs at Old Trafford, were bundled out for just 83 in reply. Having made their highest ever score [333/5] in England in the first ODI, the Proteas then slumped to their joint-worst total against the hosts. Their 83 all out in Nottingham in 2008 and Manchester on Friday night are their second-lowest totals in all ODIs, behind their 69 against Australia in Sydney in 1993.

But South Africa’s two highest run-scorers, Heinrich Klaasen (33) and Dwaine Pretorius (17), were both exuding positive vibes after wasting a good chance to win the series.

“We don’t need to change anything, our blueprints are good and we bowled extremely well. With the bat, if our risks come off on Sunday then it will be a different ball-game,” Klaasen said.

“We are playing good cricket, they just bowled extremely well up front, put us on the back foot and we never recovered. We still believe in our plan.”

Pretorius, who led an outstanding bowling display with career-best figures of four for 36, echoed Klaasen’s view.

“All our options to take a risk with the bat just did not come off, but I’m sure we’ll bounce back. It was our first innings here under lights and that definitely had an impact.

“The next game is a day game and it will be interesting to see if that swing England found is still there. The batting unit has really been on fire and it was just one of those days.

“They mustn’t let it go to their heads, they must stay confident. England put the performance in in this match, and we did in the previous game. So it’s going to be a great game on Sunday.

“What happened is not a massive issue, teams are allowed to play well against you and England did, they outskilled us. But the rub of the green did not go our way and cricket does not always work out perfectly,” Pretorius said.

Alarmingly, both Pretorius and Klaasen said the Proteas had practised hard at the swinging ball, which was their undoing as they crashed to 6 for four, their worst ever start in an ODI, in terms of their total when the fourth wicket fell.

“We have been preparing exactly for that swing, we’ve done a lot of work against the swinging ball,” Pretorius said.

“We trained hard for the left-armers and the ball coming in,” Klaasen assured. “But credit to them, they bowled extremely well, kept their lengths and swung the ball nicely.”

The third ODI starts at 12pm SA time.

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