Boucher bemoans bowlers' inability to execute as Protea slose T20 series
PRETORIA – Proteas head coach Mark Boucher felt his batsmen achieved an above par total but were let down by the bowlers’ inability to execute game plans – particularly bowling yorkers – throughout England’s successful run-chase here on Sunday.
England reached the target of 223 off the first ball of the final over in another enthralling encounter to end one of the most thrilling T20 series’ ever played. The first two matches both went down to the last ball and this one should have as well had South Africa bowled better.
“The wicket was really good and the ball does tend to fly here, but 223 was a good score – above par I thought,” said Boucher. “It just went wrong for us in the bowling. We just bowled too many ‘soft’ deliveries and they capitalised.”
A match aggregate of 448 runs, indicates just how dominant bat was over ball with a total of 65 boundaries struck over 39.1 overs.
“They’ve got a lot of aggressive players, and when there’s a high score like that they have no option but to come out and play. We just missed our areas too often with the ball.”
The 17th and 18th overs were particularly painful for the Proteas with England scoring 35 runs in those two overs bowled by Andile Phehlukwayo and Lungi Ngidi.
Comparing it to last Friday, where his side conceded 79 runs in the last five overs of England’s innings, Boucher said the bowlers’ mindset was right on Sunday, but the execution wasn’t. “We spoke about nailing more yorkers (after Friday night’s game). It is difficult to go and train those sort of things now, because we play then we travel so the skill is not where it should be. We need to work on that. They hit one or two yorkers for boundaries - and those are good shots - but in between there were too many soft deliveries.”
From a series perspective and with the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year in mind, Boucher said a few questions had been answered but others remained unanswered. “I was very happy with the batting, we’ve put good scores on the board. The bowling has at times been good and we have picked up wickets. We have the wicket-taking ability, but as a unit we are not hitting our straps enough,” he said.
South Africa face Australia in the first of three T20 matches at the Wanderers on Friday night and once the One-Day series against the same opponents ends, Boucher wants to organise a training camp to accelerate the improvement of players’ skills across the board.
The squad for the T20 series against the Australians will be named on Tuesday.