Blue Label Telecoms T20 Proteas captain, JP Duminy, applauded a clinical all-round performance in the first T20 International (T20I) against Australia at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday. The Proteas take an important one-nil lead ahead of the second match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Friday, and will take due confidence after an impressive performance with bat, ball and in the field.
“We did a lot of talking about starting well in this series,” Duminy said after the match. “With a lot of new faces around there can be a lot of nerves and playing in this environment can be challenging. It was key for us to start well and I thought the way we stuck to our guns in terms of Australia starting well in the first three overs and us coming back with the four wickets in quick succession was great. I think all-round from a bowling perspective I was happy with the plans, and the execution most of all, throughout the 20 overs.”
The most impressive aspect in the field, apart from the on-the-ball fielding and intensity, was the accuracy in the death overs, which stifled Australia’s batsmen and frustrated the enthusiastic Adelaide Oval crowd.
“The execution was outstanding,” he said of the bowling. “That’s a big tick for our seamers and spinners. I thought we used the dimensions of the ground well, especially with the long straight, so getting the ball in the block-hole was key for us. That is something we spoke about from the 13th over and it came down to execution coupled with great fielding, we were on the button throughout the 20 overs.”
Rilee Rossouw put behind him a disappointing ODI run to make the highest T20I score by a South African on debut, and says a positive mindset and an encouraging team environment were the driving forces behind his turnaround in form.
“It comes down to team dynamics,” Rossouw said. “The team has been supportive; even though I have been through some tough times the team has always been there for me. There is always someone to lean on, to ask for advice and that’s how I kept positive.”
Duminy was equally supportive of Rossouw, whose man-of-the-match performance rounded off the perfect chase.
“We have all been through it,” he said of poor form. “We have all had tough times, especially at this level, and it’s tough to get yourself up when things aren’t going well. Sometimes you need some things to go your way like it did tonight for him. It was pleasing to see the freedom he played with, we spoke about someone getting 75-plus runs, he was the man for us today and hopefully he will go from strength to strength.”