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Proteas batting coach blames poor execution for below-par first innings total in third Test

London, Sep 11 (IANS) South Africa batting coach Justin Sammons has pinned his team’s batting debacles in the first innings of the third Test at The Oval on Saturday down to poor “execution”.

The Proteas, after being put in to bat on Saturday, were decimated for 118 in 36.2 overs with pace bowlers Ollie Robinson and Stuart Broad accounting for five and four wickets respectively. In reply, while England too fumbled, they still managed 154/7 at stumps — a crucial lead of 36 runs with three wickets in hand.

Sammons also praised the England bowlers and their attacking intent.

On what issues plagued the Proteas’ batting on Saturday, Sammons was quoted as saying by timeslive.co.za that, “The reality is we also have to give the opposition credit — they bowled really well and got the ball in the right areas probably 80 per cent of the time and continually asked questions of us.

“If we are hypercritical, we could say our contact points, bat angles could have been better, not to say we wouldn’t have gotten out to those deliveries, but at least we would have given ourselves a better chance. So from that point of view, it is something we have been working on and we can continue to do so.

“We didn’t necessarily give our wickets away through mental errors — at the end of the day it came down to execution and they were just better than us.”

The coach added that South Africa missed a big stand at the top in the deciding third Test.

“We don’t want to make excuse — it is extraordinary circumstances (rain and the passing of Queen Elizabeth II) , and the reality is that everyone in that change room felt the need to pay the necessary respect, so I wouldn’t put it down to that. That change room will only get stronger from experiences like this,” he said.

–IANS

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