Proteas Temba Bavuma

Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma. Photo: Pradeep Dambarage / BackpagePix

Bavuma: Proteas focused solely on beating England

Captain Temba Bavuma says the Proteas need to focus on what they can control when facing England on Saturday in the T20 World Cup.

Proteas Temba Bavuma

Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma. Photo: Pradeep Dambarage / BackpagePix

On Thursday, the Proteas slipped out of a T20 World Cup semi-final qualifying spot after Australia thrashed Bangladesh.

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South Africa will next face England on Saturday, while Australia will play the West Indies in the game that precedes the Proteas-England blockbuster match. 

A South African win over England would draw those two teams level on eight log points, but the 50-over world champions do currently have a significantly better Net Run Rate (+3.18).

The primary aim for Bavuma and the Proteas will be to continue their winning streak, while hoping Australia come up short against the West Indies. Mark Boucher’s team would then be assured of a spot in the semi-finals, which will be contested between the top two teams in each group.

Yet, the fact of the matter is that even if the Proteas beat England, progression to the semi-finals could still come down to Net Run Rate if Australia beat the Windies, who have managed just one win in the tournament.

However, Bavuma said they couldn’t afford to be distracted by Net Run Rate requirements.

“I think first of all, in the context of the event that we’re at, tomorrow is obviously a big game. Some have even called it as almost our quarter-final. So I think from that point of view and looking at our expectations as a team coming to this event, we want to play our best cricket tomorrow.

“We obviously understand with Australia I think who are currently No 2 in our group, with their superior run rate, there’s not much I guess we can do from that point of view.

“I think the first point when we go out would be to win the game. I think that’s the main point. Irrespective of where Australia within the group, we want to win that game, and we’ll be striving to do so.

“What’s happening with Australia, West Indies, I guess what helps us is that their game happens before our game, so we’ll kind of get a better sense or understanding as to how we need to approach the England game. If Australia win, then it’s going to come down to Net Run Rate.

“We’ll have an opportunity, I guess, somewhere along our game to control our net run rate or alter our approach. But I think the first point, without reading too much into everything else, is to win tomorrow’s game, and then we can take it from there,” Bavuma added.

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