Proteas skipper Heinrich Klaasen calls for better death bowling execution

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Heinrich Klaasen (Gallo)
Heinrich Klaasen (Gallo)
  • Proteas stand-in T20 captain Heinrich Klaasen said they need to bowl better in the death overs.
  • This came after the last five overs in the first T20 against Pakistan being the difference, with the hosts being out-bowled by Pakistan.
  • The Proteas also could not get rid of Mohammed Rizwan, who made his third 50-plus score in four T20 games against SA.

Proteas stand-in T20 captain Heinrich Klaasen said they need to start executing their death bowling better.

This came after the Proteas failed to defend 189 against Pakistan in the first T20 at the Wanderers on Saturday afternoon.

South Africa made 188/6 in an innings that featured a slow start and a sluggish finish, with Pakistan showing the hosts how to bowl at the back end of an innings.

READ | Kyle Verreynne's bizarre omission raises eyebrows as SA crash again

Pakistan conceded 37 runs while taking three wickets in the last five overs, whereas South Africa went for 1/52 in the last five overs.

A 48-run sixth-wicket partnership between Mohammad Rizwan (74*) and Faheem Ashraf (30) off only 24 balls was responsible for that late order carnage.

Debutants Sisanda Magala and Lizaad Williams were entrusted with the last two overs, with Klaasen saying the two were well equipped to handle that particular situation.

"Andile Phehlukwayo is a quality bowler, so is Lizaad and so is Sisanda. They're some of our best yorker bowlers and it's something we've been working on for quite a bit. You have to stick to your guys, along with the guys who are able to change their pace," Klaasen said.

"It needs to be used in the right times and slots, but the good bowlers have a job to do. We just need to start executing."

Part of South Africa not being able to defend their score was down to Rizwan's impeccable innings management.

Rizwan, who opened the batting with captain Babar Azam and batted through the chase, was outscored three times in the six partnerships he featured in.

Significantly for Pakistan, though, he was always there at the end, with Klaasen saying he was difficult to bowl to.

Rizwan has now scored 104, 51, 42 and 74* in his last four T20 innings against South Africa.

"I reckon it's the angles he's hitting in. He hits in different angles as compared to some power hitters and he finetunes the angles that he hits in. We also try to stay out of his hitting zones, which tend to be on the on-side," Klaasen said.

Klaasen made a welcome return to form with a 24-ball 50 but was happier with Aiden Markram 30-ball 50.

Markram's ODI struggles are well-documented, but Klaasen said Markram is heading in the right direction.

"I'm happy for him. He's been fighting hard to get back into the white-ball side. He made a good statement and he showed he can play in this format. In the ODI series, he needed those two or three runs, so he could stay in and find his shots. This game was a step in the right direction for him," Klaasen said.

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