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Ken Borland


Proteas pace attack highly-motivated to do some damage against Bangladesh team that shocked them last time out

Posted on January 16, 2023 by Ken

The last time the Proteas played against Bangladesh in white-ball cricket was earlier this year when Bangladesh shocked them by winning the ODI series in South Africa, so there is a pace attack that is highly-motivated to do some damage when the two teams meet in the T20 World Cup in Sydney on Thursday.

The Proteas and Bangladesh were meant to play a warm-up game before the tournament, but that was washed out, and the rain then also forced South Africa’s opening match against Zimbabwe to be abandoned without a result. Given their experience in last year’s T20 World Cup, where they lost just their opening game but missed out on the semi-finals on nett run-rate, the Proteas know they have to win all four of their remaining matches to make sure they progress.

“Last year we learnt that every game is so important and we’ve wrapped our heads around having to win everything from here on in to give us the best chance of qualifying for the semis,” paceman Lungi Ngidi said on Wednesday.

“We’re definitely hungry to win, but every team is under pressure. The last time we played against Bangladesh, their batsmen came out pretty aggressively against us. So we will definitely target their top-order.

“They have Shakib al-Hasan to control the middle, but if we cut off the head of the snake up front, then hopefully we can restrict them to as low a total as possible.

“We will play towards our strengths and we have seen that pace has been most successful so far in the tournament. So we would like to attack them with our strength and we will see how they handle that tomorrow [Thursday],” Ngidi said.

The skilful 26-year-old also did not want to sell the Proteas bowling line-up short, saying they embraced talk about them possibly being the best pace attack in the world.

“For people to say we have the best attack in the world is an honour and privilege for us, it gives us lots of confidence as well,” Ngidi said. “It means we can walk with our heads held high.

“It also means we really want to showcase what we have. We have three or four seamers and everyone is better at something than someone else

“It makes the job a lot easier because it becomes pretty difficult with two seamers having to do everything.

“That gives the bowlers the sense of calm and confidence that’s needed in a tournament like this,” Ngidi said.

Unfortunately, there is a high probability of a lunchtime thundershower in Sydney putting a dampener on the Proteas’ efforts once again.

Play starts at 5am.

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