T20 World Cup: Simple middle-overs bowling plan helped South Africa prevail over Nepal, says Markram

Kingstown, June 15 (IANS): South Africa skipper Aiden Markram said replicating the bowling plan of 'simple middle-overs' in the last five overs helped the Proteas prevail over Nepal by one run in their thrilling Men’s T20 World Cup Group D game at the Arnos Vale Stadium.

Nepal needed 31 runs off 39 balls with eight wickets in hand to pull off a shock win over South Africa. But Markram & Co managed to pull things back to secure a one-run win over Nepal and emerge successful in their defence of 116.

The left-arm wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi took 4-19, while pacer Ottniel Baartman conceded only six runs in the final over, where he stuck to bowling on a good length, and used the odd short ball to surprise the batters.

“(We wanted) to keep it really simple. We thought if we were still hitting a hard length the odd one would shoot low and we could keep the stumps in play. I didn't want us to go too full so that if we missed it became an easy hit.”

“So, sticking to that hard length and using the short ball as we did to our advantage and just getting the timing right with bowling the short one as well worked. It was pretty straightforward, as I don't think it was necessarily a death plan. It was your simple middle-overs plan that we felt would work best on that pitch,” said Markram in the post-match press conference.

Though batters didn’t get the desired runs, Markram was appreciative of the bowling line-up leading South Africa to four out of four wins in Group D. “I think they bowled well. Once again we didn't give them the total they might have liked to defend. So, you do have to be really appreciative that they've kept us in the game and managed to get it down to the last over.”

“Our fast-bowling unit has been bowling really well in this competition and you want to back that and give them the freedom and let them sort of feel that they can win you games on any wicket really. So, I thought they bowled well tonight.”

Markram also reserved a special raise for Shamsi, whose double strike in the 18th over to take out Dipendra Singh Airee (6) and Aasif Sheikh (42) derailed Nepal’s chase. “Shamsi was excellent. It's fantastic to have him back in the team to get an opportunity to get some time in the middle and to bowl the way he did. From a bowling point of view, not too many concerns, but a lot of learning can take place in the other two facets, I feel.”

Markram signed off by saying there would be a chance to play both Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj in South Africa’s playing eleven for the Super Eights if the pitches in the Caribbean continue to be spin-friendly. “For sure, moving forward, if conditions are going to be like that, we'd love to pick the both of them.”

“I've explained the reasons behind the switch for the two of them - to give Shamsi some game time. But if we could still be featuring on the wickets and be playing like that, we back the both of them to be in our eleven and to make a massive impact for us.”



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Title: T20 World Cup: Simple middle-overs bowling plan helped South Africa prevail over Nepal, says Markram

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