Proteas wanted a run-chase test ahead of World Cup semi-final

Rassie van der Dussen revealed that the Proteas wanted to chase down a target in their final group match against Afghanistan to test themselves ahead of the World Cup semi-final.

Van der Dussen struck and unbeaten 76 to steer the Proteas to a five-wicket victory in Ahmedabad, chasing a target of 245. The Proteas have been in devastating form at the global tournament when batting first while they have stuttered when being asked to go at a target.

They scraped to a one-wicket win over Pakistan and also lost to hosts India and Netherlands when batting second.

Van der Dussen said after the win over Afghanistan: “I think coming into this match we wanted to put ourselves in that situation so if we won the toss we would have bowled anyway, because we wanted to put ourselves in that situation, knowing that they’ve got a really strong spin attack especially. I think it was largely controlled. There were one or two nervy moments, but it’s always in the chases like that. You’ve just got to communicate well to the guys coming in. So, I think one thing we did well is we never lost wickets in clusters. Everyone that came in put up a bit of a partnership and ended it closer. By doing that, they were never really in the game. Even though it might have looked when we needed about 50 off 50, with five wickets in hand, you’re going to get there nine times out of ten.”

A concern for the Proteas ahead of their last-four clash against Australia on Thursday would be the fitness of captain Temba Bavuma. Bavuma suffered a hamstring strain while fielding against Afghanistan but came out to bat in the second innings, scoring 23 in an opening partnership of 64 with Quinton de Kock.

Van der Dussen added: “He was obviously struggling a bit but the type of character Temba is, he wanted to stay out there. They did give him the option to go off for a period and come back for a period so he can open the batting. But not once did he say no, he’s going to go off and let the other guys bat. He wanted us to chase, he wanted us in that situation and even though he was on a half a leg there, he was still keen to go up front and see off the new ball.”

(story credit: SABC Sport)

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