Proteas out to draw first blood in T20 series

Andile Phehlukwayo puts in some fielding practice during the Proteas’ training session at East London’s Buffalo Park on Monday ahead of the T20 international series clash with Zimbabwe on Tuesday
Andile Phehlukwayo puts in some fielding practice during the Proteas’ training session at East London’s Buffalo Park on Monday ahead of the T20 international series clash with Zimbabwe on Tuesday
Image: MICHAEL SHEEHAN/GALLO IMAGES

The Proteas will be gunning to get off to the perfect start in their T20 international series against Zimbabwe at Buffalo Park in East London on Tuesday to continue the good momentum from their one-day series whitewash.

All-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, who will be playing in his 14th T20 international, said the team was in a good space at the moment and hungry for more success.

“The guys are looking positive,” he said.

“Obviously now it’s a different ball game, T20 cricket, a lot of the skills are more pressured.

“You’ve got to execute really well, so we are training really hard for that.

“We are happy to be here. I think Buffalo Park is a great venue, we love coming here.

“I do enjoy coming to play at a full-house of passionate supporters.”

The team is set to feature a number of new and exciting players such as Gihahn Cloete and Rassie van der Dussen, who could make their debuts.

Other players such as Christiaan Jonker, Junior Dala, Heinrich Klaasen and Robbie Frylinck have just a handful of caps among them.

“There are a lot of new guys in the team. They have all put in the performances at domestic level and deserve their call-ups,” Phehlukwayo said.

It is only the second ever T20 international at Buffalo Park. The first was an eightwicket loss to New Zealand in 2012, but since then the Proteas have claimed big ODI wins over the West Indies (by nine wickets in 2015) and Bangladesh( by 200 runs) last year.

“T20 cricket is a format where any team is in the game – it doesn’t matter if you are ranked 14th or first. On the day it will come down to who performs well,” Phehlukwayo said.

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