- Proteas assistant coach Enoch Nkwe hopes the players could be inspired by the West Indies’ record chase against Bangladesh.
- The West Indies made 395/7 in Chattogram, the highest successful Test chase in Asia.
- South Africa require 243 more runs to win with nine wickets standing.
Proteas assistant coach Enoch Nkwe hoped the team could find some motivation from the West Indies’ excellent fourth innings chase against Bangladesh on Sunday.
The West Indies reeled in 395 with three wickets standing thanks to Kyle Mayers’s unbeaten 210, along with fellow debutant Nkrumah Bonner’s 86.
Their 216-run stand first helped the West Indies recover from 59/3, then Mayers partnered Joshua da Silva for a 100-run stand in only 131 balls that properly catalysed the chase.
South Africa are better placed at 127/1 in what will be the highest successful chase in Pakistan and the fifth highest in Asia should they get to 370.
“We haven’t been following the West Indies game as we’ve been focussing on our game. We really need to stay connected in terms with what we want to achieve. I’m sure though that when we watch the highlights or track on cricinfo, the guys may find some motivation,” Nkwe said.
“We have enough cricketers in our dressing room and guys in our dressing room who have been role models. They are really encouraging the guys and finding every way possible to ensure the guys are well connected and stay motivated in this chase. Everyone understands how important is for is to chase this total down as our backs have been up against the wall. This is a great opportunity for us to close the series and the summer.”
Nkwe said they have already cautioned against looking too far ahead of themselves.
While their position may currently be comfortable, SA’s chronic collapsing issues are never far away to blight them.
“We’ve spoken about keeping up the intensity and staying in the moment. It’s going to be important that we don’t get carried away and look to the future. If the scoring opportunities present themselves, we need to take them, along with those to absorb pressure,” Nkwe said.
“There’s a lot that could happen. The game could turn, but we hope it can turn in our direction.”
The importance of winning the Test, which will be SA’s first in 13 attempts since 2014, isn’t lost on Nkwe.
He cited the lessons taken from the first Test and how they have been applied in Rawalpindi despite unexpected lapses.
“In this Test, the guys were much better mentally, and they took a lot from the first Test, which hurt. There were opportunities that could have been better used but, in this Test, we’ve improved and that’s showed. We’ll take a lot from this, but it is important we win this Test” Nkwe said.