Heinrich Klaasen says his match-winning 27-ball 43 during the fourth ODI against India at the Wanderers felt better than scoring a century.
A rain break when the Proteas were 43-1 saw their target of 290 in 50 overs reduced to 202 in 28 overs. In the end, they got home with 15 balls to spare.
It took a collective batting performance for them to do so.
Hashim Amla (33 off 40), AB de Villiers (26 off 18), David Miller (39 off 28) and Klaasen (43 not out off 27) set up the win, with big hitting from Andile Phehlukwayo (23 not out off 11) sealing it.
Klaasen’s knock, which included five fours and a six, saw him named Man of the Match.
‘[It’s given me] the world of confidence,’ he said afterwards. ‘I spoke to our spinning coach Claude [Henderson] and I told him I just want to get that first knock out of the way to settle the nerves.
‘This knock means the world to me. To win a game for your country is better than scoring a hundred.’
Klaasen was called up at short notice to replace the injured Quinton de Kock for the third ODI at Newlands.
‘The way I got out [for 6] in my debut game was tough. It was a soft dismissal and I did not like that.
‘But to put in a performance like today, after getting a second opportunity, obviously boosted my confidence a lot. Hopefully, Quinny recovers quickly because he’s a big loss to the team. I’m sure we will see him soon.’
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