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T20 WC: We knew the guys out there in the middle were capable, says SA's Shamsi

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Sharjah, Oct 30 (IANS) South Africa left-arm wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi said that his team knew that David Miller and Kagiso Rabada were capable of taking the side home against Sri Lanka in a thrilling Group 1 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Miller and Rabada had an unbeaten partnership of 34 off just 15 balls to help South Africa chase down 143 with just a ball to spare.

“I don’t think anyone can explain it. That’s why we love the sport. I don’t think anybody in the stadium could have guessed which way the game was going to go. But for me personally and the team, we knew the guys that were out there in the middle were capable. Thankfully for us, they did the job today,” said Shamsi in the post-match press conference.

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“You can’t say a hundred percent predict which way it’s going to go, but you have confidence in the guys that you have in the team. The way Temba steered the batting with Aiden (Markram) and then for Kagi (Rabada) and David (Miller) to come and do what they do, that was really nice to see from our point of view,” added Shamsi.

Shamsi, adjudged the player of the match for his spell of 3/17 in four overs, tightened the screws on Sri Lanka in the middle overs. Shamsi now has 32 wickets to his name in 2021, going past Uganda’s Dinesh Nakrani to be on top of the table. Shamsi also holds the number 1 position in the T20I rankings for bowlers.

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“We’re here to try and win a World Cup for the country. Like I mentioned, I want to try and personally contribute as much as I can in every game. My previous game wasn’t as good as I wanted. Like I’ve mentioned, just working with a bit of a niggle (groin strain). I really wanted to do something special for the bowling unit. But I’ve mentioned it enough times that every single guy is doing a job for the team. There’s a different guy doing the job for the team every game, and today was my day.”

Shamsi was in praise of all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius, who took identical figures of 3/17 against Sri Lanka. It was also the second three-wicket haul for Pretorius in the ongoing tournament. “I think if we had to give the award of colour of the team, it would be Dwaine Pretorius. He does so much analysis. He does so much work behind the scenes. He wants to make sure that he’s well prepared and he’s come up with his game plans with our analysts and the coaching staff.”

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“I’m really happy that he’s getting the rewards. I think we can’t speak enough about the job that he did for us in the end. As you saw, the game was so close, and it’s so turned out that he’s become our death bowling specialist, and so far he’s done a great job.”

South Africa’s next match in the tournament is against Bangladesh on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi.

–IANS

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