back icon


Tried to kill the game too early, it put us in a tricky position: Markram

Last updated on 24 Jun 2024 | 05:56 AM
Google News IconFollow Us
Tried to kill the game too early, it put us in a tricky position: Markram

Chasing 123 in 17 overs, the Proteas were 70/3 at the end of seven overs but then lost a couple of wickets trying to finish the game early

South Africa are through to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup for the first time since 2014, but only after making a mess out of a simple run-chase. Chasing 123 in 17 overs in a rain-curtailed game against the West Indies on June 23 (Sunday), the Proteas were 70/3 at the end of seven overs but then lost a couple of wickets trying to finish the game early.

The equation got down to 13 off 10 with three wickets remaining but Marco Jansen (21*) and Kagiso Rabada (5*) got South Africa over the line. The latter hit Roston Chase’s last delivery of the penultimate over for a boundary before Jansen tonked Obed McCoy for a maximum to keep his team unbeaten in the tournament.

“Lot of relief to get through to the semifinal. We would have liked it to be a lot more convincing. The wicket was playing nicely after the rain break but we tried to kill the game too early. It put us in a tricky position but happy to get over the line. We bowled really well, assessed conditions and kept them to a sub-par total. We could have built a partnership after the break and then take it from there, we will take that learning and hopefully not make that same mistake again,” said South African skipper Aiden Markram.

In the first innings, Markram himself bowled four overs and used 12 overs to spin on the Antigua surface. Anrich Nortje was the only pacer to complete his four overs, while Rabada and Jansen bowled two each. South Africa managed to restrict the West Indies to 135 but lost two early wickets in the run chase before the rain arrived in Antigua. 

“We picked (Tabraiz) Shamsi to have a mystery spinner against them and immediately saw it spinning, so we wanted to bowl as much spin as we can. If it wouldn't have spun that much then we would have used our pacers, not a lot of times when KG bowls only 2 overs. We have been doing really well, the bowling unit is firing and as a batting unit it is about when to take the game on. We need to be smart on those situations.”

Meanwhile, the West Indies won all their group games but lost to England in their first match of the Super 8s. The Men in Maroon did hammer the USA but came up short against South Africa. Skipper Rovman Powell admitted that the batting was not up to mark but is still mighty pleased with how his team played in the tournament.

“Credit to the boys for fighting till the end. As a batting group, this is a performance we want to forget, we didn't bat well in the middle overs. We lost wickets in clusters and that always breaks the back of the batting team. It was a commendable effort, the boys believed they could defend 135,” said Powell.

“We haven't won the World Cup or reached the semifinal but we have played some good cricket in the last 12 months. There is a buzz among the supporters about West Indies cricket again and that is something we take away. We really appreciate the support we have got at various venues and the likes on social media.”

Shamsi, who picked up 3/27, was named Player of the Match. The left-arm wristspinner dismissed Kyle Mayers, Sherfane Rutherford and Roston Chase and played a major role in restricting the West Indies to a below-par total. Even though the game went right down to the wire, Shamsi said there was no panic in the dressing room and also admitted that it’s nice to have a close win like this going into the semis. 

“I am sweating, I wasn't even there (in the middle), but I was nervous, but that's been the trait of the team in this tournament, always fighting till the end. We looked at Marco Jansen's reaction, he seemed confident that it had crossed the ropes. Our supporters and staff would probably like bigger wins, but we need to take these performances going ahead.

“We've had a lot of chatter, I was backed by the coaching staff to work on my plans. The guys set things really well, we're firing on all cylinders and looking forward to the next match. We've played well as a team, a complete team performance, there's no pressure on anyone, we're working well as a team. It's a love affair between South Africa and the World Cups (on rain stopping play), but the boys were calm, we knew what we needed to do. There were no such crazy thoughts going around (being eliminated).”

If you’ve not downloaded the app yet, you’re missing out — big time. Play Fantasy on NOW! Download the App here.

Related Article