Wayne Parnell believes that the way the Proteas kept the pressure on New Zealand was key to their 159-run victory in Wellington on Saturday.
Sustained pressure with the bat and ball was key to the Proteas’ success and that was the difference to their loss in Christchurch in the second ODI. AB de Villiers, with the help from Parnell (35), seemed like he learned his lesson from the previous match and stuck around till the last few overs, which helped South Africa to 271-8 in their innings.
‘AB didn’t have a total in mind,’ said Parnell about his 84-run partnership with De Villiers.
‘When we were sitting in the dugout, the coach actually mentioned 230-250. When I got out to the middle I thought my aim was to get AB to the last four or five overs. We’ve seen many times how destructive he can be, so I just tried to build a partnership and take pressure off him by trying to score as well.’
The Proteas bowling unit, in particular, combined well to pick up wickets at regular intervals and throttle the Black Caps.
‘Starting well as a bowling unit was key for us. We got a couple of wickets and managed to keep the run rate down,’ said Parnell.
‘During the break, we had a chat as a team and tried to replicate what went well for them when they were bowling, and sticking to that by keeping scoreboard pressure. Also, the wicket was pretty decent.
He continued by praising Dwaine Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo’s contributions.
‘Dwaine and Andile were exceptional; taking wickets and also keeping it tight. Their partnership was key, especially their middle spell where, as a collective they bowled about eight overs together and took three or four wickets for about 10 runs. If we can keep that sustained pressure, any batting lineup will fold quickly.’
Parnell, Pretorius and Phehlukwayo have all been key all-rounders for the Proteas in the last three games. The variety of choices available to Russell Domingo allows him to try different combinations as the Proteas look for a set bowling unit and bottom order.
‘We have 14-15 guys who have played, so if I sit out in the next game for someone else, then I’m sure he would do well,’ said Parnell about a guaranteed spot in the side.
‘Competition is always healthy for the squad. Everyone that’s come in has done what’s required of them. We try to replicate it game by game and we can’t always get it right; I got a duck the last game. But it’s all about trying to contribute. It’s about working hard and trying to put in performances regularly.
‘It’s also important to find different combinations for certain fields, so if we have five or six guys bowling well, we can rotate them and when a particular wicket suits a particular spinner or fast bowler, we can chop and change without breaking the quality of the bowling lineup.’
The Proteas now lead 2-1 in the series and will play New Zealand in the fourth ODI at Hamilton on Wednesday. Parnell believes that they should push the reset button and not read too much into the Black Caps’ poor batting display which saw them skittled for 112.
‘You can’t read too much into New Zealand’s batting collapse,’ he said. ‘In Hamilton, it’s a completely different surface again. So it’s about restarting as if it was 0-0.
‘In the first game, we played really well in patches and won. We went to Christchurch, played a decent game and then lost. We bounced back here which was nice, but we expect New Zealand to do the same in Hamilton. It’s going to be a completely different match out there.’
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