South Africa’s limited-overs skipper Temba Bavuma has admitted that it was an incredible effort from the entire team to bounce back to win the series under immense pressure. Meanwhile, the player of the match, Aiden Markram credited Quinton de Kock for helping him make a difference with the bat.
At 2-2, the fifth T20I was set up for a tight finish, with both the sides not giving each other any sort of room to put their foot forward. After winning the toss, South Africa’s skipper Temba Bavuma chose to bat, a decision that he would have regretted three balls later when he walked back to the hut.
However, the partnership between Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram showed flexibility, fluidity and more importantly, put the Windies back on their trails, putting on 128 runs for the second wicket, with de Kock getting out for a 42-ball 60. Markram was later dismissed for a 48-ball 70, a knock that ensured that the Proteas got to 168 runs in their stipulated overs.
With the ball, in the absence of Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi upped his game, with a three-fer while Kagiso Rabada and Wiaan Mulder picked up two of their own, ensuring that South Africa won the game by 25 runs. In the post-match presentation, skipper Bavuma admitted that it was incredible from the boys to bounce back under immense pressure in the decider.
“Delighted. Incredible from the boys. We were under pressure and we need to commend our ability to bounce back. Come the World Cup, it should be an incredible one to watch. This series can only boost our confidence. We haven't won much away from home. Looking forward to the World Cup, this win gives us confidence and belief as well,” Bavuma said in the post-match presentation.
Regarding the upcoming T20 World Cup, Bavuma insisted that the management has been satisfied with certain guys, who have come in to fit certain roles for the team. He also expressed that the tour was a great learning curve and insisted that the team was gelling nicely, at the right time.
“I believe things are gelling well for us. It was a hard fought series from a skill point of view. The management is satisfied that guys have fit certain roles. We really did enjoy this tour. We were disappointed when it was called off last year. It has been a great experience and I'm sure the younger boys will be looking forward to coming back next time.”
Aiden Markram, who did not play the first two T20Is, walked into the team from the third one, with scores of 23, 20 and a match-winning knock of 70. The right-handed batsman stated that his aim was always to score runs and make a difference for the unit. Markram also credited his knock to his partner, de Kock, who he hailed as a ‘guide’ through the middle overs of the innings.
“I always want to score runs and make a difference. Luckily it went well today. For a majority of the time, we were good with the bat today. A lot of credit has to go to Quinton, he has played a lot of T20 cricket. He has played in all conditions and knows what to do. He was guiding me throughout and he has spent a lot of time on this wicket,” Markram said.
Markram also added that the southpaw had a great series on the tough wickets in the Caribbean before crediting the fitness and attitude attributes to Justin Ontong, who he admitted as raising the bar for South African cricket.
“He had a great series on these tough wickets. It was only a matter of time before he got going, he's a class player. Credit to the fielding coach, he puts us through the yards. The attitude of the players towards Justin Ontong as the fielding coach has been great to see. He keeps raising the bar and it is exciting to see.”