South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma rued the fact that his side did not ‘hit the straps’ at the death with the ball, and reckoned that leaking 66 runs off the final 4 overs put the Proteas on the backfoot. Bavuma also claimed that, barring de Kock, the batsmen failed to make use of the conditions.
On Thursday, South Africa were handed a taste of their own medicine as it was the visitors who lost the plot in the chase, falling short of the target of 168 by 21 runs. Batting first, Windies posted 167 courtesy fine knocks from Lendl Simmons and skipper Kieron Pollard, and in response, South Africa managed to reach just 146/9 in their 20 overs. However, despite the batsmen not delivering, Proteas captain Temba Bavuma reckoned that his side ultimately threw the game away with the ball.
At 112/6 after 16 overs, the Windies looked like they’d crawl their way to a sub-150 total, but the visitors’ pacers leaking 66 runs in the final 4 overs took the hosts’ score to 167 and swung the momentum in the Windies’ favour. Speaking in the aftermath of the loss, Bavuma admitted that South Africa ‘didn’t hit the straps’ at the death, and conceded that it ultimately cost his side the game.
“I think looking at our bowling performances, we didn't hit the right straps,” Bavuma said in the post-match presentation.
“60 odd runs in the last 4 put us on the back foot. Our spinners came to the fore and set it up for us. But at the death, we won't like to put up a display like this.”
But while the South African pacers were guilty of being awry at the death, the spinners, Shamsi and Linde, were near flawless. The duo finished with figures of 2/13 and 2/16 respectively and tamed the Windies’ middle-order, which had no answers to the mastery of the two slower bowlers. Bavuma heaped praise on the duo.
“Shamsi has been brilliant. George has been good. The conditions have suited the slower bowlers.”
With the bat, no one barring Quinton de Kock scored more than 20, and the sorrow-looking scorecard eventually translated into a defeat for the hosts. Bavuma admitted that the batsmen failed to perform their duty on the day.
“Momentum was on their side but we still had to do our job as batters. QDK was the lone ranger. All to play for as it is 2-2.”