Death bowlers must step up, says Bavuma

Proteas captain Temba Bavuma has called for improved performances from his charges when they look to level the series against Ireland on Friday
NOT HAPPY: Proteas captain Temba Bavuma has called for improved performances from his charges when they look to level the series against Ireland on Friday
Image: RYAN WILKISKY/BACKPAGE PIX

Proteas captain Temba Bavuma has called for consistency in the death-bowling department after his side crashed to an embarrassing 43-run defeat to Ireland in the second ODI at the Malahide Cricket Ground on Tuesday. 

A sparkling seventh ODI century by Irish opener and captain Andy Balbirnie helped his side to 290 for the loss of five wickets in their allotted 50 overs, before they dismissed the Proteas for 248 with nine balls to spare. 

This defeat also meant SA received no ODI World Cup Super League points and remain in the bottom half as the hosts’ chances of qualification for the 2023 ICC tournament were given a huge boost. 

“We haven’t shown any consistency in the death-bowling phase,” Bavuma said.

“It makes it quite hard to set a plan and get some sort of direction.”

He hinted at the possibility of a reshuffle before their final game at the same venue on Friday

They trail 1-0 in the three-match ODI series. 

“There are other guys on the sidelines who are known to have the skill, so maybe there is a strong case in giving them an opportunity to showcase what they can do in that phase,” the skipper said. 

He also said their performance in the field had been dented by the vital catches dropped. 

“Those are not standards we pride ourselves on and dropping catches was always going to make things hard for us. 

“If you look back, the catches we dropped were pretty costly for us. 

“Bowling short and wide is never a plan.

“I’d like to give the bowlers the benefit of the doubt and pin it down to execution. 

“It has been happening a bit too often where we find ourselves trying to defend both sides of the field.

“That obviously makes things difficult.”

On resting influential opening batsman Quinton de Kock and fast bowler Lungi Ngidi, Bavuma said both instances had just been to manage the players’ workloads. 

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