Steyn: Proteas can’t afford another loss

2014-03-27 00:00

HERO of the Proteas’ dramatic two-run win over New Zealand on Monday in their second group game of the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, Dale Steyn knows there is no point in coming second any more as the tournament progresses.

Speaking ahead of the Proteas’ clash with the Netherlands in Chittagong today, Steyn said: “It’s a case of must-win for us. We must win everything if we hope to qualify for the semi-final and hopefully final.

“We have already lost one game and we cannot afford another loss today or in the tournament again.”

Steyn highlighted that one loss in the tournament is all a team can afford if they hope to lift the trophy, and having lost their opening clash against Sri Lanka on Saturday by five runs, it’s time to open the throttle and roar ahead of the chasing pack.

“JP [Duminy] did things no one else in the team could do against New Zealand and obviously it was a game we needed to win,” said Steyn. “The mood in the camp would be entirely different if we had lost that game and it would have been tickets for us I think.

“These remaining group matches against the Netherlands and England would not have been tough for us to play but we have a win under the belt and that gives us confidence.”

The Netherlands, who with Sri Lanka are sharing the same hotel as the Proteas, were dismissed for a lowly 39 in a nine-wicket defeat to the high flying Lankans, but no opponent can be taken lightly in the tournament.

“The Netherlands battled against Sri Lanka but the qualifying nations will find it tough against quality opposition they are not used to playing. However, the nature of the game makes it more than hard to predict what course a match will follow,” said Steyn.

Steyn added that he did not foresee any changes to the side for today’s match, saying a winning combination should not be changed. Back home in South Africa, many people are saying speedster Morné Morkel should be axed after being slaughtered to the tune of 50 runs in three overs against the Kiwis, but Steyn defended his fellow paceman.

“In T20 cricket it’s the little one percenters that count. Morné went for some runs against New Zealand which is a little odd but his three yorkers in his last over were fantastic, with one of them going for four,” he said.

“If some runs had been scored off the other balls, we would never have been able to defend the runs needed in the last over.”

The Proteas enjoyed a lengthy training session yesterday ahead of today’s match and looked confident and upbeat.

Today’s match starts at 11.30 am (SA time) and will be telecast on SuperSport 2 and SuperSport 2HD.

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