Anrich Nortje, who played a pivotal role in South Africa's eight-wicket win over the West Indies on Tuesday in Dubai, has stated that playing IPL in UAE has helped him a lot to understand the pitch conditions. Nortje conceded only 14 runs in his four overs, and scalped the wicket of Andre Russell.
After being asked to bat first, West Indies started off slowly, as the South Africa bowlers restricted the run flow in the initial three overs. However, Evin Lewis charged up and accelerated the run rate with his 56 off 35 balls. Lendl Simmons, who opened the batting with Lewis struggled and managed to score only a 35-ball 16. West Indies captain Kieron Pollard scored 26 off 20 to guide his team to 143/8. For South Africa, Dwaine Pretorius was the pick of the bowlers as he scalped three wickets in the match. Anrich Nortje restricted the opposition batsman from scoring runs as he conceded only 14 runs off his four overs, and scalped the wicket of dangerous Andre Russell (5).
In pursuit of 144 runs, South Africa faced an early blow as Andre Russell ran out Temba Bavuma (2) in the very first over of the innings. Reeza Hendricks (39), stood solid at one end and partnered for a 57-run stand along with Rassie van der Dussen. Hendricks fell to Akeal Hosein in the 10th over when the scorecard read 61/2. Van der Dussen, who scored a century against Pakistan in the warm-up match joined hands with Aiden Markram and stitched up an 83-run stand to guide South Africa to their first victory in the Super 12 stage. van der Dussen remained not out and scored a 51-ball 43, whereas Markram smashed an unbeaten 51 off 26 balls, which included two boundaries and four sixes.
Anrich Nortje, who was adjudged Man of the Match for his exuberant performance with the ball, stated that playing IPL in UAE has helped him a lot to improve in such conditions. The South Africa pacer further added that having Kagiso Rabada alongside has benefited him to understand the game situation in every match.
"100 percent, it's (playing IPL in the UAE) helped me quite a lot. It's helped us as well being able to give some information to the team on conditions, that's probably the situation for all the players in all the teams. Just having the confidence of knowing the conditions and understanding what to do, when to do it definitely has helped me coming here. It was a good wicket, similar to the IPL, playing around with the ball with the grip - definitely it brings in some extra variation and something else to the bowlers.
"It's always nice working with him (Rabada), his ideas and knowledge about game in the situation. It's not a lot about skill anymore, it's about understanding and communication on the field. It's really nice to have him around. We said we were quite happy with that happened in the game (against Australia). With the batting, we wanted to improve. What the guys did out there was awesome. Hopefully we can build on this. I don't think we're close to a perfect game, but we can keep on building and try to get as close to that perfect game as possible. That's all I want to do - just keep on improving every day," said Nortje after the match.
A good day for us: Bavuma
Reflecting on his team's victory, Temba Bavuma stated that he is pleased with the team's come back after losing their first game against Australia. He further lauded Aiden Markram for his match-winning performance.
"Much better than our first game. We knew there were areas that we needed to improve on. Particularly our batting. Our bowling again was outstanding. A good day for us. We're not too sure how the wickets are going to react so we thought Aiden out there [with the ball] let him have a go and he obviously bowled quite well. Those are the types of performances we needed with the bat.
"Aiden has been hitting the ball wonderfully at the moment. [On de Kock] When the news hit us it did kind of take us back as a team. A guy like Quinnie, he obviously plays an integral role within the team, not just with the bat but as a senior player but with that, Klaasen coming in there was an opportunity for him, it was another game of cricket that we had to play for our country and we had to live up to that," said Bavuma after the match.
South Africa will next face Sri Lanka on Saturday, 30 October in Sharjah.