SA skipper Temba Bavuma admits that De Kock’s controversy was at the back of his mind

Temba Bavuma

Quinton De Kock refused to take a knee and pulled himself out of the game against West Indies on Tuesday after CSA issued a sudden direction that all players must take a knee before every match of the ongoing ICC T20 WC.

South African skipper Temba Bavuma admitted that a team had a lot going at the back of the mind when De Kock’s stance against taking the knee had become quite a controversy in the days leading up to the game. Bavuma said that he endured ‘tense’ moments prior to the game against Sri Lanka.

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Bavuma said that he was relieved after his side notched their second win of the tournament. David Miller’s two sixes in the last over sealed the deal for SA after Wanindu Hasaranga picked up a hattrick.  

“It’s quite hard to put everything that’s happened over the last couple of days. There was a bit of it at the back of the mind but we had a job to do and we had to dig deep. I was a bit tense,” Bavuma said at the post-match presentation.

Senior player Quinton De Kock refused to comply with the directives and chose to pull out of the match. But the wicket-keeper batsmen returned for the game against Sri Lanka and performed a gesture in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

Bavuma talked about the thrilling last over win and said he was confident that David Miller can provide a win for the Proteas.

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“He (David) hadn’t done in a long time for us, credit to him. He’s got one of the most beautiful swings, like a golf swing.

“I took on the responsibility to finish it off and the wicket wasn’t an easy one but someone had to take it till the end. The shot was on and I was a bit irritated with myself that I wasn’t able to execute,” said Bavuma who top-scored for South Africa with run-a-ball 46.

Bavuma also appreciated Tabraiz Shamsi’s bowling as the left arm spinner shined with the figures of 3/17 in his four over spell.

He said: “Shamsi is a big player for us, a weapon, we’ve seen wrist-spinners are always effective in this format.”

South Africa needed 15 in the last over with David Miller Kagiso Rabada in the crease.

Shanaka said: “It was enough to defend for Lahiru. He was bowling Yorkers and he was superb in the practice games which is why I went with him.”

“Credit to South Africa batsmen, they finished really well,” Shanaka said.

“Nissanka has been classic, he showed in this tournament as well. He’s got a bright career and is a real prospect for Sri Lanka ahead. It’s really hard for us after this game, next two games we hope to keep our pride.”

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