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Shamsi: ‘There is a nice thing building within the Proteas’

Now SA off to face Ireland in two T20s

Tabraiz Shamsi of SA celebrates a wicket with teammate Lungi Ngidi in the third T20 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.
Tabraiz Shamsi of SA celebrates a wicket with teammate Lungi Ngidi in the third T20 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.
Image: Henry Browne/Getty Images

Proteas spin wizard Tabraiz Shamsi believes the squad can take much confidence from their all-around performance after securing a thrilling T20 series victory over England on Sunday.

The 32-year-old put in a man-of-the-match display in the final match in Southampton, taking five wickets in his four overs while conceding just six an over.

Before that the SA batters, led by a third half-century of the series from Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram’s 51, saw the Proteas to a commanding 191.

The hosts were rattled by the loss of their first five wickets for just 65 runs as Keshav Maharaj bagged two wickets, with Anrich Nortjé, Andile Phehlukwayo, and Aiden Markram contributing to the early collapse.

The English lower order was then bamboozled by Shamsi’s left-arm unorthodox spin to remove the remaining five batsmen for the addition of just 36 runs to secure a memorable 90-run victory at the Rose Bowl.

“It was brilliant. Starting with the batsmen, to the fielding and then the bowlers too. It was not just me, the guys who bowled before me did a great job,” Shamsi said.

“There is a nice thing building within our team. We have been on the journey since last year, before the World Cup, so there is lots of confidence in the team.”

Asked if he felt any pressure from fans’ expectations of him to take wickets regularly, Shamsi said the key to dealing with that was to know exactly what the captain requires of him in each match.

“I have learnt a lot about my bowling and I know that sometimes the captain wants me to hold the game, which I can do, and in other instances, if the captain wants me to take wickets, I can try to take wickets.

“I try to go on what the captain wants from me on the day and probably Quinny [Quinton de Kock] behind the stumps. That is how I try to gauge things and try to do whatever the team needs on the day for us to win the game.”

Shamsi feels the bigger grounds for the T20 World Cup in Australia in October and November will highlight the skill of the batsman versus the bowler, and who can execute their skills better.

“As a bowler, that [bigger grounds] helps because you can come up with certain game plans to try to counter what the batsmen might try to do.”

SA travel to Bristol for two T20s against Ireland on Wednesday and Friday — effectively their final chance to assess who should make up the squad for the World Cup. After the Ireland T20s, SA head to Lord’s for the first of three Test matches against England.

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