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T20 World Cup: Using short balls was risky, but variable bounce assisted us, says Temba Bavuma

Perth, Oct 30 (IANS) In South Africa’s five-wicket victory over India in Super 12s of Men’s T20 World Cup at Perth Stadium, using short balls consistently was a risk, which was admitted by Temba Bavuma. But at the same time, the Proteas skipper was relieved over variable bounce assisting them in getting a tight win over the Rohit Sharma-led side.

With a four-man pace attack on a pacy Perth pitch, Lungi Ngidi (4/29) and Wayne Parnell (3/15) were the stars of South Africa’s plan to bowl hard lengths and extract extra bounce to outwit the Indian batters quickly.

On a chilly evening, the duo were well supported by Anrich Nortje clocking over 150kph consistently and pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada keeping one end tight to keep India to 133/9 and set the base for their jump to top of Group 2 table.

“We were watching the games that were played here (in Perth). Obviously it (using short balls) was risky but the variable bounce assisted us. We kept mid-off and mid-on up, which made us predictable but we backed ourselves,” said Bavuma in the post-match presentation ceremony.

With the bat, Bavuma’s poor form continued as South Africa were in trouble at 24/3 in 5.4 overs. David Miller (59 not out off 46 balls) and Aiden Markram (52 off 41 balls) rescued the Proteas with an excellent shift of gears through a crucial 76-runs stand off 60 balls for the fourth wicket to complete the chase with two balls to spare.

“It was try and up the intent (on change in gears after drinks break). When you do that, opportunities come your way. Fortunately, things did go our way and we got the momentum we needed. Our batting line-up is in good form, barring myself. It is a unit that has been together for sometime,” added Bavuma.

With South Africa to face Pakistan next in Sydney on Thursday, Bavuma hopes his side’s confidence will be boosted by shining in pressure situations, like what happened against India on Sunday.

“To come through in pressure moments will boost the guys’ confidence. We came into the tournament as non-favourites and we will keep flying under the radar. We will keep improving and that’s what we are doing.”

Ngidi, adjudged Player of the Match for fantastic figures of 4/29 in his four overs, including ten dot balls at an economy rate of 5.7, credited watching Pakistan bowl earlier in the day against Netherlands on the same pitch for his plans to blow away the Indian top-order.

“It comes down to watching a lot of games being played here. We have also played here earlier. We saw Pakistan bowl and it helped. Just after the ten-over break, Markram moved the game forward and Miller followed him.”

“It (the finish) was very nerve-wracking. When games get so close, you cannot do much as a bowler but just sit. This is one of my biggest dreams, to get something like this (award) at the World Cup and help the country win a game, will cherish it for a long time.”

–IANS

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