Farhaan Behardien praised Lungi Ngidi for his outstanding 4-19 in SA’s three-wicket defeat against Sri Lanka on Sunday.
Behardien was proud of his bowlers’ fighting spirit which took the match to the final over and particularly praised the contribution from Lungi Ngidi, who continued to impress in only his second T20 international match for South Africa. This performance was a follow-up to his two wickets in the 10-over T20 at Centurion on Friday.
‘I think a superstar has been born,’ he said of the 20-year-old.
‘I don’t want to put too much pressure on him, he is only 20, but if he keeps his feet on the ground he will have a long career. He bowled out of his skin with good pace and bounce. Even on a slowish wicket he got the breakthroughs for us that we needed. He got three wickets in his first few overs and a breakthrough in his fourth over. He was somebody that we could turn to to strike … I’m really pleased for him.’
The 33-year-old identified his batsmen’s lack of ability to adapt to slow spinning conditions as a reason for their three-wicket loss. Titans pair Behardien (27) and Heino Kuhn (29), were the only batsmen to challenge Sri Lanka’s three-spinners attack and a lack of steady partnerships was the Proteas’ downfall as they were bundled out for 113 – their lowest T20 score at the ground.
‘We didn’t assess quickly enough,’ he admitted.
‘We thought we did, but the nature of the wicket brought the Sri Lankan spinners into the game. Noticeably their left-arm chinaman, who was the star for them today and picked up wickets on a regular basis. It stunted our momentum going forward, we lost wickets at crucial moments and couldn’t build any partnerships, which are crucial on a slow wicket. It’s difficult for the new batters coming in.’
The final T20 International will be at Newlands on Wednesday. AB de Villiers passed a fitness test on Sunday and has been added to the squad for the third match.
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