Wednesday's performance was a clinical execution under pressure with Ngidi showcasing a variety of skill sets. Photo: Rogan Ward/Reuters

CAPE TOWN – South Africa's Buffalo Park hero Lungi Ngidi has hailed the impact bowling consultant Charl Langeveldt had on helping him hold his nerve in Wednesday evening's tense final over.

England required seven runs for victory in the opening T20I off the final six deliveries and Ngidi claimed two wickets and a run-out off the final ball to edge the Proteas home by just one run.

It was clinical execution under extreme pressure with Ngidi showcasing a variety of skill sets, including the slower-ball and yorker.

It was reminiscent of Langeveldt in his hey-day when the former Proteas swing-bowler once claimed a hat-trick in the final over to propel South Africa to a dramatic victory over the West Indies.

“Having watched him and the way he used to bowl, he has given me a lot of confidence as a young player, knowing someone like that is now on my journey,” Ngidi said.

“He has had a massive impact in terms of the mental side. He has made sure I back the skills that I am good at. Something like that on the back end, where maybe someone would say maybe a change of ball was needed or maybe a yorker, stick to what's working and it worked out just well. I guess it's a mental thing, to be able to finish off well in situations that require you to.”

The performance will do wonders for Ngidi's confidence going forward. The big fast bowler has struggled with injuries over the past 12 months and was also sent on a conditioning camp to ensure he gets back to peak fitness.

It was clear that he was still a bit ring-rusty during the ODI series, but towards the latter stages of the Pink ODI at the Wanderers and now in East London, the 23-year-old is showing the signs that made him one of the most valued players at his Indian Premier League franchise, the Chennai Super Kings, not so long ago.

“Physically, obviously I am trying as best as I can to get back to the pace that I was at and to hit the areas that I am known for hitting.

“But at the moment, it's just trying to keep that confidence going of doing my job at the back end and closing out very well,” Ngidi said.

@ZaahierAdams

 

IOL Sport

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