Quinton de Kock in action against the West Indies. Photo: @OfficialCSA via Twitter
Quinton de Kock in action against the West Indies. Photo: @OfficialCSA via Twitter

Tabraiz Shamsi says there'll be no criticism of Proteas batsmen by the bowlers after narrow win

By Stuart Hess Time of article published Jun 30, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - There’ll be no condemnation of their batting teammates - not publicly at least - from the Proteas bowlers, who again fronted up in sensational fashion to defend a below par total in the third T20 International against the West indies in Grenada on Tuesday night.

South Africa won by one run to take a 2-1 lead in the five match series, but concerns remain over the batting, with the Proteas once more failing to take advantage of a good start and posting their third total in 160s, when a target of 180 or more was in the offing.

Speaking after his man of the match performance in the third match, left arm wrist spinner, Tabraiz Shamsi, said the nature of the Caribbean pitches made life difficult for batsmen on both sides, especially in the second half of the innings. “Obviously in the first game these guys blew us out of the water with their six hitting. But you saw today that even they struggled in the second innings. I think it’s a bit difficult to keep going as the ball gets older; they are bowling a lot of slower balls, it gets harder to hit,” said Shamsi.

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The bowlers on both teams have certainly made the necessary adjustments. Obed McCoy, who consistently bowls an accurate slower ball out of the back of the hand took 4/22, while the crafty Dwayne Bravo picked up 3/25 as South Africa lost five wickets for the addition of 36 runs in the last five overs of their innings.

As a result the bowlers were once more under pressure as was the case in the second match last Sunday. “We’ve learnt lessons from the first game as well, our guys are doing a great job. It’s not about cleaning up any mess (left by the batsmen). Whatever score they’ve given us , we’ve defended (in the last two matches). We don't have much experience playing together, the more we play together the better we’ll get.”

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We need to play together as bowlers and the same for the batting unit, once you bat with the guys for a few games in a row I think you get into a rhythm,” Shamsi, who took 2/13 in four overs on Tuesday, explained.

The pitch for Tuesday’s match was different from the one used in the first two games in the series, but for the second match in a row, the South African bowlers were able to keep a reign on the power-packed West Indies batting line-up.

“In the first game there was a lot of rain which kept juicing up the pitch. That might have been a factor in the way they chased our score down because the ball was skidding on.”

“I don’t want to take credit away from our bowling unit, the way the guys bounced back after the first game. That was our first game and there’s been a big improvement with how the guys have nailed their areas. As much analysis as you can do, the best lessons are learned from bowling to their guys. We have been really smart with the lines and lengths we’ve bowled after the first game.”

Shamsi has starred in both South African wins in the series, with his control of pace, his lengths and lines proving vital. “I’ve always been someone who likes to look at a lot of footage, whether I’ve bowled well or badly. I always want to see how the guys have played me; if they played me well or if I’ve bowled well and what are the things I’ve done. That’s just my way of trying to stay one step ahead of the batsmen. But T20 is a different beast, I may go for 60 in my next game, but preparation is never something that I shy away from.”

The Proteas wore black armbands during Tuesday’s match in honour of former team manager Goolam Rajah who died earlier in the day. “I had a close personal relationship with him,” said Shamsi. “The things he’s done for Cricket SA are immense . Guys I looked up to growing up, who were my heroes, he was there when they were youngsters, He saw them become legends of the game.”

@shockerhess

IOL Sport

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