Quinton De Kock revealed attacking upfront was the key to South Africa's win in the 2nd T20I, as the Proteas skipper took the initiative of hitting Pat Cummins for a couple of sixes up front. The skipper also praised the efforts of the bowlers who stuck to their plan and executed it to perfection.
The South African skipper led the Proteas from the front with the willow as his quicks got their death bowling act together which helped them pip Australia by 12 runs in the second T20I match at St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
De Kock, right from the start of his innings, looked dangerous as he welcomed Pat Cummins with a couple of sixes in his opening over. To Adam Zampa as well, he was no less merciful. If not for a superhuman effort by Smith at the boundary line, there would have been five more runs to his credit in the powerplay. However, as the innings progressed, he, too, struggled for timing.
Speaking in the aftermath of the win, de Kock revealed that he realized that scoring up front on the slow Port Elizabeth wicket was important, the main reason as to why he took charge right from the very first over. The South African skipper further expressed his satisfaction over the performance of the Proteas players.
“I've realized that the new ball is key while batting. It gets difficult at the end so we capitalized on the powerplay. I know it's difficult to chase a target like this here and we knew that and we pulled it off. In international cricket we need to understand what needs to be done and I'm really proud of the boys,” said De Kock, as quoted by Cricinfo.
The turnaround with the ball happened when Tabraiz Shamsi started to trouble Smith and Warner with his turn and accuracy. The number of dot balls went up and the boundaries were fewer to come. In fact, in the 14 overs after the powerplay, only four boundaries and two sixes were hit - one of which Faf du Plessis had caught, only for him to step over the boundary ropes later.
As the Australian innings progressed, the batsmen tried too hard for the boundaries, and in turn, kept losing wickets. Lungi Ngidi struck thrice, at crucial times to break Australia's momentum. There were also some fine efforts on the field by the hosts, but also a regulation catch dropped by Quinton de Kock early on and du Plessis stepping on the boundary ropes after holding a catch. The 27-year-old heaped praise on his bowlers and was hopeful of replicating the same in the final T20I in Cape Town on Wednesday.
“I think a couple of games before this our death bowling struggled, and we had a good chat, but the boys came out here and stuck to the plans to execute brilliantly. It'll be a good game, expecting a good wicket, so hopefully the boys come up there and perform well,” he added.