Proteas hope being on a roll in Windies T20s can carry them on a high to the World Cup
The Proteas will send a big statement ahead of the World Cup later this year if they win the fourth Twenty20 clash against the West Indies on Thursday and seal the series with a match to spare.
The South Africans go into the match at the National Cricket Stadium in St George’s‚ Grenada‚ leading 2-1 in the five-match series.
Victory will clinch the series ahead of the fifth and final match on Saturday.
The Proteas were easily defeated in the opening match on Saturday but bounced back spectacularly the following day to level the series and took the lead with a one-run win in the third match on Tuesday.
For SA‚ who have not won a T20 series in two years‚ a series triumph over reigning world champions West Indies will further inject the much-needed confidence the long underperforming team needs in their preparations for the World Cup‚ to be played in Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
“It was good and we did mention that winning games like this is key to the way we want to go about things‚” said stylish opening batsman Quinton de Kock‚ who top scored with 72 off 51 balls in his 50th Twenty20 appearance for the Proteas.
After the Caribbean sojourn‚ the Proteas travel to Ireland where Mark Boucher’s men are scheduled to play three ODIs and three T20s from July 11 to 25 in Malahide and Stormont.
“It adds confidence, and not just me but the bowlers as well as the batters‚ to win these close-margin games. It is a good sign but it is still early days.”
The talented De Kock‚ who turns 29 in December‚ said the only way to maintain a winning streak is to keep winning.
The performance of the Proteas’ bowling unit has tipped the scales for the team — the batting looks a bit shaky but De Kock said the collapses of recent times do not bother him much.
De Kock‚ however‚ agrees with his opening partner Reeza Hendricks‚ who said one of the batters in the top five needs to bat through the innings to give the team a good chance of posting intimidating targets after scoring 160‚ 166 and 167.
“That is what it boils down to and we just have to make sure that one of the top four has to bat through the innings just to play it safe.”
De Kock said SA will be determined to improve their scoring on Thursday as they aim to clinch the series with a match to spare.
“We were looking at 180 today [Tuesday] but in saying that the West Indies also bowled very well and you have to give credit where it is due.
“They have experience in bowling and guys with some good skills. We will sit down and talk about how we can get those extra 20 runs towards the end.”