South Africa have been brought “back to earth” by their defeat to Pakistan at the T20 World Cup but will use it as a wake-up call ahead of their must-win match against the Netherlands, captain Temba Bavuma said.
The Proteas could have sealed a semi-final berth with a victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground but instead slumped to a 33-run loss in the rain-shortened Super 12 match.
Second in Group 2 and a point behind India, Bavuma’s side now needs to beat the lightly regarded Netherlands in Adelaide on Sunday to be sure to advance.
Bavuma said “the wheels came off” for South Africa as Pakistan went on to post 185 for nine after being reduced to 43 for four early on.
“A team like Pakistan, as you know, is very dangerous when you give them any type of momentum,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s a big concern. Yes, there are talking points for us, areas that we can learn from.
“Maybe it’s a performance that we needed to … maybe bring us down back to earth.”
Bavuma lamented his team’s poor fielding and declined to blame the weather as a slew of catches went to grass in the drizzly final overs of the first innings.
“Up until this game, our fielding has been very good. We fielded at night,” he said.
“We fielded during the day. We fielded in wet conditions.
“Maybe the intensity lowered a bit for the guys. Individually, the guys know but it’s definitely not the standard of fielding that we pride ourselves on.”
The loss of experienced middle order batsman David Miller to back spasms did not help South Africa’s cause after rain and the Duckworth-Lewis method left them an improbable victory target.
Bavuma said Miller’s benching was precautionary, though, and expected him to return for the Netherlands.
Rohit Sharma-led Team India, Babar Azam’s Pakistan, Bangladesh and South Africa are all fighting for the available two spots for the semi-final stage of the ICC World T20 2022. Group 2 leaders India and second-placed South Africa are favourites to secure their respective spots for the World Cup semi-finals in Australia.
Pakistan’s second-successive win in the Super 12 stage means the Group 2 has been thrown wide open once again at the T20 World Cup. The 2009 world champions have climbed to the third spot in the current Group 2 standings of the ICC World T20 2022. Babar’s misfiring Pakistani side still has an outside chance of making it to the semi-finals of the ongoing edition of the ICC event in Australia.
Third-placed Pakistan will meet Shakib Al Hasan-led Bangladesh in their final fixture of the Super 12 stage on Sunday. Besides beating Bangladesh, Pakistan will require either Team India or South Africa to avoid winning their respective matches on Sunday. If South Africa suffer a defeat or have their final game called off, Pakistan will only need to defeat Bangladesh to eclipse the Proteas by winning more matches (3) than the Temba Bavuma-led side. If Zimbabwe upstage India, Pakistan can advance to the next round with a win over Bangladesh on the basis of a superior Net Run Rate (NRR).