• Proteas keen to wrap up series

    An opportunity for a series win will be the main motivation for the Proteas in the second ODI against New Zealand in Potchefstroom.

    South African all-rounder Farhaan Behardien says winning the series will be a significant boost after their performance in Bangladesh last month and looking ahead to the series against India and England later this year.

    I think it’s very important,’ he said. ‘We are putting ourselves under pressure to win, to wrap up the series. We obviously have England here next year and India in India in October so we are looking to build some momentum. We have an great opportunity now and hopefully on Wednesday to build some winning momentum after a disappointing series in Bangladesh.’

    Behardien says the squad is eager to improve after an ‘ugly win’ in the opening match, where their disciplines with the ball and in the field were below par. Potchefstroom is traditionally known for its good batting deck, and could produce another fast outfield, as seen in Centurion, because of the dry, late winter conditions.

    ‘We have to keep working on our batting,’ he said. ‘We batted really well; Hashim [Amla] and Rilee [Rossouw] laid the platform for us upfront and despite losing a few quick wickets at the backend, myself, David Miller and David Wiese managed to score 45 runs at the end to put us in a strong position and over the 300 mark.

    ‘Our fielding and catching lets us down a bit on Wednesday evening so we are looking to improve on that. The fielding is a vital aspect ahead of a busy season and the shift in mental attitude regarding that skill is important, we have been taking good steps towards that.’

    The Proteas will be playing in front of a full crowd on Sunday after tickets for the match were sold out on Friday evening.

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