Proteas seek answers for catching horror show

2017-01-26 07:28
Farhaan Behardien (Gallo)

Cape Town - It became laughable at one point. 

The Proteas, usually so clinical in the field, were all at sea in the third T20I against Sri Lanka at Newlands on Wednesday night. 

"Dropped catches cost us," stand-in captain Farhaan Behardien said after the match, which South Africa lost by 5 wickets to lose the series 2-1. 

He was not wrong. 

In the end, there were five catches that certainly went to ground. That isn't counting Imran Tahir's misjudged effort from the third-man boundary when he came steaming in to catch Seekkuge Prasana - who was on 2 at the time - only to see the ball bounce over his head and disappear for four.

That moment proved to be massive as Prasana smashed 37* off 16 to seal the win for the visitors.

Tahir had dropped another catch before that, Dane Paterson had also put down a sitter, Mangaliso Mosehle had dropped a relatively good chance off Wayne Parnell, Parnell dropped one off his own bowling and Lungi Ngidi had put one down at short fine-leg. 

Those were the certain missed chances, but there were a handful of others that dropped just short but could have been caught on another day. 

At one stage, off Parnell, three catches went down in as many balls. 

"It’s a tough one. I don’t know. We have fielded superbly in the last couple of months," coach Russell Domingo offered.

"The guys have put in the effort. Maybe just the occasion for one or two of the younger players … maybe it was just a bit big for them this evening.

"Hopefully they would have learnt from that. There are a lot of positives to take. You never want to lose these types of series and that’s what is tough, but there are positives."

For Behardien, the missed chances robbed him of a chance to emerge victorious in his first series as a South African captain. 

"It was very frustrating. It’s stuff that you can’t really prepare for," he said.

"We let ourselves down in the field and gave them the momentum and took the momentum away from our bowlers. I can’t put it down to any sort of reason … it was just one of those nights."

The Proteas were also not helped by the fact that they lost star bowler Lungi Ngidi after he had bowled just two overs to a hip injury. 

As a result, Behardien had to turn to JJ Smuts to bowl two overs. 

"It complicated things quite a lot," Behardien said of Ngidi's injury.

"He’s been our star bowler in the first two T20s and now to find a couple of overs to fulfill his quota … he was a massive loss for us.

"He’s a strike bowler who seems to get wickets when called upon and that was a tough blow for us tonight."

Attention now turns to the five-match ODI series, which gets underway on Saturday.


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