Classy Klaasen fixes small flaw to earn big runs after unleashing inner beast on Windies

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At JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom

  • Proteas batter Heinrich Klaasen said his first two scoring shots in Tuesday's third ODI gave him an idea that he may enjoy himself in the middle.
  • He did so to the extent that he scored 119 not-out off 61 balls in SA's four-wicket win against the Windies.
  • Klaasen said fixing a flaw in the nets allowed him to unleash his batting beast that overwhelmed the visitors.

Proteas batter Heinrich Klaasen had a feeling that once his first shots found gaps, the batting gods were smiling on him on a Tuesday the West Indies would rather forget in the North-West Province.

The visitors have had plenty of bad days at the hands of the South Africans, especially in ODIs on these shores, and Klaasen not only compounded their headaches, but forcefully took from them a golden chance to win an ODI series with an ODI hundred of uncompromising brutality.

Klaasen, who walked in at 73/3 after the fall of Aiden Markram's wicket at the hands of Kyle Mayers and Shai Hope in the 11th over, first played with measured aggression, which was followed by brutal belligerence.

MATCH REPORT | Stunning Heinrich Klaasen century powers Proteas to victory in 3rd West Indies ODI

He compiled his 50 off 30 balls before laying waste to the Windies' bowling attack in the next 24 balls to obtain his second ton in the format.

Klaasen said the middling nature of the target meant he didn't have to take too many risks, but played in the manner the conditions allowed him.

"It was one of those days where the first couple of shots went into the gap," Klaasen said.

"To be quite honest, the rest was simple for me. We're trying to play the conditions and not the situations, and the conditions were fantastic to bat on.

"I felt like I had a couple of loose deliveries that I capitalised on, and I felt that set the tempo for my innings.

"I didn't have to take too many risks, even though I took one or two, but the good ball I could have respected.

"There was no pressure, even when I got in, to chase any sort of big run-rate when the conditions are that good.

"You just have to bat through and play each ball on its own merits."

READ | Magical Magala sheds fitness fears to become critical bowling depth cog for Proteas

Klaasen returned to the ODI side after an unconvincing return in the Test series where his attacking convictions failed him.

The 31-year-old keeper-batter from Pretoria who fielded today with the gloves being given to Ryan Rickelton said he fixed a small flaw at the nets in the lead-up to the game that allowed him to thrive on Tuesday.

SCORECARD | 3rd ODI: Proteas v West Indies

"We just fixed a little technical thing at the nets after 50 balls of edging and surviving balls," Klaasen said.

"I just tried to stay nice and still and calm. I think after that, I hit a couple of better balls and everything seemed to hit the middle of the bat a bit better.

"I took that confidence into today's game."

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