De Kock urges Proteas to 'stay ruthless'

Quinton de Kock (AFP)
Quinton de Kock (AFP)

Cape Town - Proteas captain Quinton de Kock has urged his side to 'stay ruthless' after winning the opening T20 against England in thrilling fashion at Buffalo Park in East London on Wednesday evening.

Some brutal shot-making from Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma at the top of the order ensured the Proteas posted a respectable 177.

It looked as if England were cruising to victory thanks to Jason Roy (70 off 37 balls) and captain Eoin Morgan (52 off 25 balls) as the visitors needed just seven runs off six balls.

But Lungi Ngidi produced a stunning final over, conceding just five runs as the Proteas sneaked home by a single run.

De Kock praised his bowling unit for sticking to the basics.

"It was very tight, but we knew halfway through the stage where we were as a bowling unit. We just made sure that if we kept to our basics and understood what to get done, that we could end up winning this anyway. We understood also as team that here in East London the wicket starts getting tough to bat on in the last five overs, so we just held on and great to see that the boys fought back so well," De Kock told SACricketMag.

The 27-year-old wicketkeeper, captaining the side for the first time in a T20I series, insists he remained calm throughout despite the nail-biting finish.

"I was still calm. I knew what needed to be done - win or lose, it is something that you can control. Just the way we went about it pleased me and I knew if we were going to do that then we will win anyway," said De Kock.

Bavuma was promoted up the order to open the batting and it was a decision that was vindicated as the Langa-born batsman struck a quickfire 43 off 27 balls.

De Kock was full of praise for his opening partner.

"Temba batted really well. He has worked really hard during the Mzansi League, and now coming back for the Proteas, and he has done really well for us. It is great to see him play like this at the moment," said the Proteas skipper.

The captain quickly turned his focus to the second T20 international in Durban on Friday and believes it is imperative that his side do not take their foot off the gas and continue to go for the jugular.

"It is really important that we stay ruthless during this whole series and that we make sure we keep doing the right things. Hopefully we can get a series win in the next game," concluded the swashbuckling left-hander.

- TeamTalk Media

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