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Sun Apr 20 18:26:13 SAST 2014

Time to fine-tune the batting

Mark Salter in Birmingham | 12 September, 2012 07:260 Comments
England v South Africa - 2nd NatWest International T20
South African batsmen Richard Levi (L) and Hashim Amla leave the field before a ball is bowled as rain delays the start of the 2nd International T20 between England and South Africa at Old Trafford on September 10, 2012 in Manchester, England
Image by: Stu Forster / Getty Images

PROTEAS captain AB de Villiers could be forgiven for tinkering with his batting line-up in the third and final T20 against England in Birmingham tonight.

One up, South Africa cannot lose the series, but they would obviously like to go out on a high.

Not much was gained from the second match at Old Trafford, which had been reduced to nine overs a side but washed out just four overs into England innings.

South Africa showed they are well-equipped to deal with difficult situations, such as these shortened matches which require attacking batting and defensive bowling.

The Proteas management must have been heartened at Hashim Amla's seamless transition into T20, which gives the team options.

The order of appearance on Monday was to a large extent influenced by the need to get big runs quickly but Amla's 47 off 30 balls showed he is capable of accelerating through the power play.

Jacques Kallis, too, was never under pressure when easing the Proteas to victory in the first T20 as an opener, but raised the pace when coming in at No7 on Monday to score 13 off seven balls with three fours. He and Amla combined to take 27 runs off the last two overs.

The team that took the field at Old Trafford was probably the best SA can offer, especially with De Villiers himself coming in early.

Richard Levi still needs to get his eye in and will almost certainly get another chance tonight, while Wayne Parnell and Farhaan Behardien also need a run if De Villiers is going to give the whole squad time in the middle before the World T20.

England are still trying to find form. Neither Eoin Morgan nor Jonny Bairstow have had a chance to show their ability in this T20 series. They need to be more productive if they are to stop South Africa tonight.

Proteas coach Gary Kirsten will miss the final T20 against England today as he returns back to SA to spend time with his family.

Kirsten will join up with the T20 team on Sunday in Colombo.

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Time to fine-tune the batting

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Sun Apr 20 18:26:13 SAST 2014 ::