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Pretorius says Proteas won't leave anything to chance against already eliminated Bangladesh

Tiisetso Malepa Sports reporter
Dwaine Pretorius celebrates with Proteas teammates Tabraiz Shamsi and David Miller after SA beat Sri Lanka by four wickets.
Dwaine Pretorius celebrates with Proteas teammates Tabraiz Shamsi and David Miller after SA beat Sri Lanka by four wickets.
Image: @OfficialCSA/Twitter

Proteas all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius has said SA will not take winless Bangladesh lightly when the two nations clash in a Group 1 encounter in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

While the Russell Domingo-coached Bangladesh are already out of contention to qualify for the semifinal stages, having lost all their opening three matches, SA can double their chances of reaching the semifinal stages and Pretorius said the Proteas will leave nothing to chance at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

“We know that we need to keep preparing well and obviously bring all the intensity and passion when we get on to the field for the next game.

“Bangladesh is a good side, a strong side and are very dangerous in these conditions and we can’t take them lightly,” Pretorius said from the United Arab Emirates on Monday.

The Proteas started their campaign with a narrow defeat to Australia and bounced back with comprehensive back-to-back wins over defending champions West Indies and Sri Lanka.

They meet Bangladesh on the back of three high-intensity matches in a short turnaround space of 10 days in energy-sapping, hot and humid conditions and on dry, low and slow pitches, but Pretorius said the Proteas coaching staff works around the clock to keep the team fit and refreshed.

“Well, I think, to be honest, we have been very good in terms of our recovery protocols and also the amount of energy during the training sessions. The medical staff and the coaching have been really hard on us to not do anything that is unnecessary.

“I think we are managing our energy levels really well and then obviously, with this Proteas badge on your chest, you need to bring the energy and intensity and passion, it does not matter how tired you are.

“We know back home there are a lot of people rooting for us and we don’t want to disappoint them. We really appreciate them and the worst thing we want to do is let them down.

“Every time we go over the line we make sure that we leave everything on the field and the nice thing with this game is that we will have three days before we play England [on Saturday, November 6, in Sharjah].

“We are not going to stop fighting until the last ball is bowled and you could see that in our game against Sri Lanka, against Australia and even against the West Indies.

“We are not going to leave anything to chance and we are going to give it our all in every match, that I can promise you,” said the 32-year-old Randfontein right-handed hard-hitting batter, knowing that a comprehensive win will see the Proteas remain in second spot and increase their chances of advancing to the knockout stages ahead of a blockbuster final group clash against rampant Group 1 leaders England.

The Proteas have four points and are in second place in Group 1, four behind England, who have won all of their opening four matches ahead of their clash against Sri Lanka in Sharjah on Monday.

Pretorius took three wickets for 17 runs in three overs as SA beat Sri Lanka by four wickets on Saturday, with Temba Bavuma giving the team a solid foundation in their chase, and David Miller hitting form at the right time.

“It is awesome and I think [my teammate] Tabraiz Shamsi keeps talking about it and I want to also touch on it,” said Pretorius, who played down individualism.

“Our whole team, batting and bowling, whatever, we are not relying on one or two superstars to get us over the line.

“Our whole team has contributed and is contributing and we saw that in the last match when David came to the fore, even Temba got in and took us deep in difficult conditions.

“If you go even through the warm up matches, there are a lot of guys that have scored runs and I think overall our team is in a very good space at the moment, but we are not taking any matches or any results for granted.”