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South African bench presses the point home

Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Wayne Parnell had to wait till South Africa’s last match in the league stage to get their first game in the World Cup. Nilankur Das reports.

cricket Updated: Mar 20, 2011 00:48 IST
Nilankur Das

Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Wayne Parnell had to wait till South Africa’s last match in the league stage to get their first game in the World Cup. Maybe it’s unfair on the duo, but couldn’t have been any different, for South Africa have Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel in their ranks.

Having already made it to the quarters with one match to spare, South Africa could afford to rest their new-ball pair against Bangladesh and give other pacers a chance.

And those waiting-in-the-wings until now made the most of the opportunity, leading South Africa to a clinical 206-run win over Bangladesh, revealing the South Africa’s bench strength.

The two quicks, especially Tsotsobe, broke hosts’ backbone with some hostile and incisive bowling, and picked Man-of-the-Match award for his three-wicket haul in five overs. He polished off Bangladesh’s top order, removing Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes and Shahriar Nafees, to virtually finish off the match in the first few overs itself. Parnell, on the other hand, didn’t get any wicket, but kept up the pressure end with economical bowling.

“I feel very happy about it. It just wakes me up and says ‘listen you got to work harder and harder each and every day.’ It doesn’t matter if I don’t play the next game; I am still a part of the team,” said Tsotsobe.

Such realistic approach makes it easy for the captain, who may have to leave him out and get back to his frontline pacers in the quarterfinal. “The guys who sat out have performed very well for us in this match. We are delighted the way Lopsy (Tsotsobe) has come out and performed,” said Smith.

“It’s a tactical decision. We have picked the team depending on the pitches and the opponents we have come up against. Again, as Lopsy said, we are all in it together and we all want to stand with the trophy at the end of the day. It’s all about being a part of something special together,” said the captain.