Janneman Malan confident Proteas can bounce back in second T20I against Pakistan
CAPE TOWN – Janneman Malan believes the Proteas can bounce back in the second T20I against Pakistan on Saturday.
The visitors fielded an inexperienced unit in the first match in Lahore, but pushed Pakistan all the way to the last ball before eventually going down by just three runs.
Malan, who struck a blitzkrieg 44 in the ultimately failed run chase, knows they will need to raise their game even more if the Proteas are to avoid losing their fourth successive T20 series in a row.
"When you play at this level against Pakistan, there will always be pressure. But it is a good opportunity to bounce back hard. We have that ability. One game and then the momentum can change into the final game. So it is an opportunity to show fight and come back strong,” Malan said on Friday.
“I think it [First T20I] was a competitive game. We came closer at the end. We were happy to have that as a chasing score but just couldn’t get there in the end. Hopefully next time we can get there."
Malan certainly showed that South Africa do indeed possess young players with immense talent during his 29-ball stay at the crease. He blasted eight fours and six, with four consecutive boundaries coming off seamer Haris Rauf.
What an impressive opening knock in last night's T20I action 👏— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) February 12, 2021
Reeza Hendricks 5️⃣4️⃣
Janneman Malan 4️⃣4️⃣
How excited are you for round two tomorrow? #PAKvSA #SeeUsOnThePitch pic.twitter.com/nW1233yqcd
However, the introduction of spin halted Malan's charge with leg-spinner Usman Qadir bamboozling him with a googly. Qadir then picked up debutant Jacques Snyman a few balls later that entirely halted the momentum of the Proteas' innings.
"It was quite a challenge to face from the start and then we tried to capitalise against the seam. I think they adapted well in the middle to just change the game to make it more difficult for us," he said.
"It didn’t skid on, as expected, against the spinners. I just tried to back my strength against the seam. I think there is room for improvement (in facing spin). We will think about it and come up with better plans."
Proteas captain Heinrich Klaasen concurred that the middle period of South Africa's innings was costly and that they will need to improve in the second match.
"Definitely‚ four runs for two wickets didn’t help in the middle phase‚” Klaasen said‚ referring to the dismissals of Malan and Snyman.
“They put us on the back foot especially chasing a score of 170. I thought they were about 10 runs short and I was quite pleased with their score.
“But in that situation‚ I thought we went four overs for 20 runs and two wickets down and that put us under pressure massively. So‚ hopefully in the next game we can raise the intensity in the middle phase and we can go over the line.”