We would have like to be more convincing than that: Markram after win against Windies

PTI, Jun 24, 2024, 12:34 PM IST

Credit: X / @ICC

North Sound (Antigua): Relieved to have qualified for the semifinals of the T20 World Cup, South Africa captain Aiden Markram acknowledged that the Proteas erred a bit in attempting to finish off the chase against West Indies too soon, leading to an unconvincing victory.

South Africa did well to restrict the two-time champions to 135/8. In reply, the Proteas were 15/2 in two overs when rain disrupted proceedings for close to an hour.

The South African batters saw the reduced revised target and improved batting conditions after rain as an opportunity to go hammer and tongs at the target of 123 but kept losing wickets as the hosts made things tight. But Makram and his men eventually got the work done.

“A lot of relief to get through to the semifinal. Not going to be brain-washed by that. We would have liked to be more convincing with bat in hand,” Markram said at the post match presentation.

“After the rain break, the wicket was playing nicely. We did not get the partnerships to then kill the game. Tried to kill it (the chase) too early, it put us in a tricky position. (The win) is massive for us and fantastic for the change room.”

Markram hopes the nervy win will be a learning lesson for his side.

“We bowled really well, assessed conditions and kept them to a sub-par total. We could have build a partnership after the break and then take it from there, we will take that learning and hopefully not do that same mistake again.”

With the wicket aiding spinners, Markram opted to to bowl wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi (3/27), Keshav Maharaj (1/24) and himself (1/28), while using pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen for two overs each.

“We picked 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 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.”

Our ranking improvement is commendable: Rovman

Their hopes of winning an unprecedented third title were dashed but West Indies skipper Rovman Powell remained extremely proud of the progress the ‘Men in Maroon’ have made in the past year.

Having missed out on qualifying for the ODI World Cup last year, West Indies cricket seemed to have reached an all time low but under Powell’s captaincy, they have enjoyed a resurgence and climbed to the third spot in ICC T20 rankings.

“When you look on a large scale, we have not won the World Cup or in the semi-final, but if you look at the cricket we have played in the last 15 months, to go from No.9 to No.3 in the rankings, it is commendable.

“There is a lot of buzz in the Caribbean around West Indian cricket, and now is where the work starts. Continue to work together as a group and make the Caribbean people proud. When we hear the anthem, as players, we feel something and that is heading in the right direction.”

After putting up a below-par target the West Indies bowlers put up an impressive display to take the match to the last over.

“Credit has to be given to the boys, they fought till the very end. As a batting group, this is a performance you’d want to forget. We did not bat well in the middle. It was not an easy wicket, especially to get started,” Powell said.

“In the middle overs, we lost wickets in clusters. That broke the back of our batting team. It was a commendable bowling effort. We said we wanted to give it our all. They (the team) believed even if it was only 135 (on the board),” Powell concluded.

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