Must-win pressure is on the Proteas
Robin Peterson expressed his disappointment at South Africa’s two-wicket loss to Pakistan in the ICC World Twenty20 Super Eight match on Friday, but still believed the Proteas had the skill and ability to bounce back.
Peterson, whose exceptional bowling figures of 2/15 in four overs were in a losing cause, was counting on his team mates to make an impact in their final group matches.
“We have to win our final two matches, it’s as simple as that,” Peterson said about the team’s approach for the upcoming matches.
“We are obviously disappointed by the result but we still have two games to go.
“We know what we are capable of when we fire as a unit and that is what we will be aiming for in our next two matches.” Peterson and Dale Steyn (3/22) were the top bowlers for the Proteas, with inconsistency in execution letting the team down in the dying overs, after Pakistan struggled to 76 for seven.
Peterson gave credit to Umar Gul (32) and Umar Akmal (43 not out), who shared a blistering 49-run eighth wicket partnership, which gave Pakistan the impetus after their poor start.
“It’s not every day that someone plays a special innings like that, and that under pressure. A lot of credit must go to the way they played as well,” said Peterson.
“He played an incredible knock under pressure for his team. He caught us by surprise and things went his way tonight, all credit goes to him.”
The Proteas’ middle order had earlier revived the innings to help post what proved to be a defendable score of 133 for six. JP Duminy top-scored with 48 runs off 38 balls, with AB de Villiers (25) and Farhaan Behardien (18) the other significant contributors. Pakistan attacked with a spin-heavy front in conducive conditions, making it difficult for the batsmen who finished well after a slow start.
“I thought JP (Duminy) and Farhaan (Behardien) batted beautifully to get us in a position from where we could actually set a challenging total,” Peterson added.
“We knew the wicket was going to get a little bit slower. We thought what we posted tonight was going to be slightly below par but we knew we were in with a chance to defend that.”
The Proteas need to win their next two matches against Australia (Sunday) and India (Tuesday) respectively, if they are to have a chance of advancing to the next round in the tournament.