Proteas enter clash with confidence

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The Proteas head into the second T20I against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers on Sunday with confidence and one eye on a series victory. 

The Proteas hold a 1-nil lead in the three-match series after the heroics of a 19-run win in the first match on Friday, but will face a different situation at the ‘Bullring’, with clear weather and a fast-paced high-scoring encounter on the forecast.

Proteas big-hitter, David Miller, who top-scored with 40 off 18 balls in Friday evening’s win, believes the team will carry some confidence and momentum into the match, which is expected to house a boisterous sold-out crowd.

“It was nice to contribute towards the team, I always enjoy that,” Miller said of his innings. “It’s a great stepping stone for this new T20 side to win the first match and that will give us some good momentum in Sunday’s game.

“We are constantly working on certain things like that,” he said of countering Sri Lanka’s effective spinners. “Fortunately we are playing on the Highveld so if you can hopefully get half a blade on it, it can go for six. They bowled really well, it was tough to defend. Lungi (Ngidi) did very well, it was an outstanding performance from the bowlers. The guys were under pressure in the first six or seven overs but the last three were outstanding.”

Most of the batsmen chipped in with quick cameos towards the imposing score of 126, a collective effort that was needed given the short nature of the match. Miller says the basics of cricket still apply when batting regardless of the short format, and says adapting quickly on the day is the key to success.

“I’ve learnt over the last couple of years that every format remains the same,” he explained. “You are trying to get yourself in but it’s just that you have less time. The basics still apply, you still have to try and face the first few balls and once you get the feel of the wicket and assess as quickly as possible you can react to how you are going to move forward.

“You always feel like you have to ‘tonk’ every ball but you have to try and build a good foundation, which we did in the first two overs, you have to try and take it deep as much as you can.”