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Wed Apr 16 16:10:52 SAST 2014

The big-hitter is still in me, says Levi

TEAMtalk Media | 21 September, 2012 11:180 Comments
South Africa's Richard Levi plays a shot against Zimbabwe during their Twenty20 (T20) World Cup cricket match in Hambantota September 20, 2012
Image by: Dinuka Liyanawatte / REUTERS

South Africa batsman Richard Levi shrugged off a poor run of recent form to score a match-winning half-century against Zimbabwe in their World Twenty20 Group C clash.

Levi had managed a mere 39 runs from his last five T20I innings prior to Thursday's 50 not out, which carried the Proteas to a resounding 10-wicket triumph - and knocked the Zimbabweans out of the tournament.

Facing just 44 balls for his milestone, striking six boundaries in the process, the left-handed Levi enjoyed an unbroken 94 run stand alongside fellow opener Hashim Amla, with their alliance welcoming victory with 44 balls to spare.

"You always want to start off any competition or series with some runs. Especially working out your gameplans and moving forward from there. It was good to get some runs under the belt," said Levi, who was beaten to the Man of the Match award by team-mate Jacques Kallis, who clinched career-best figures of four for 15 in restricting the opposition to a mere 93 for eight.

"You have to look forward and remember what you have done in the past and how it got you to the position that you are in at the moment. To go out there doubting your ability is the wrong way to look at it."

Thursday's vigil was considerably calmer than the swashbuckling century Levi orchestrated against New Zealand earlier this year, when he equalled the highest score in T20I cricket en route to 117 not out.

That knock was scored on a fluid pitch in the middle of a relatively small Seddon Park oval, while his latest innings was garnered across a Hambantota surface that proved testing throughout.

"The nature of the chase allowed me to play that way. We still had the same gameplans going out to bat and we still executed with the same intensity. The big-hitter is still very much in me. The key for me was to help the team reach the winning total with ease," he added.

"It was not your typical sub-continent wicket, there was a bit of pace and bounce and quite a bit of seam movement with the new ball. Later on it became nice to bat on, there was a bit of pace in the wicket."

South Africa's next fixture is against Sri Lanka on Saturday.

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The big-hitter is still in me, says Levi

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