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"Not a great selling product...": SA's Klaasen on low-scoring games in New York during T20 WC

June 11, 2024 11:45 AM

New York : Following his side's four-run win against Bangladesh in their ICC T20 World Cup match, South African batter Heinrich Klaasen said that while the low-scoring short format matches at New York is not a "great selling product" to the world, but for cricketers and hardcore fans, it makes the game more competitive and entertaining.

In the battle of unbeaten sides, South Africa prevailed over Bangladesh in a final ball thriller at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium on Monday (local time) and took a step closer to qualifying for the Super 8 stage.

Speaking after the game in the post-match press conference, Klaasen was questioned if the matches on these tough pitches are enjoyable to the players, to which Klaasen replied, "It is still good cricket for the cricket lovers that is out there.

If you have to showcase it to the world and sell it, I do not think it's a great selling product, but for cricket, it is tight competition. It brings the other teams and the higher teams very close to each other, so the game is open to any team that does the basics of cricket very well."

"For us, it is very nerve-wracking, because every game becomes a really big game. There are no easy games for us especially in our group. So, it is still good entertaining cricket. Everyone is on the edge of their seat and any team can beat any team on the down this on this field," he added.

On being questioned if his team is keen to go to the Caribbean right now for the Super 8 stage, Klaasen said hilariously that while batters are keen to get out of this place, the bowlers would love to stay here.

"We have done our job that was the goal to win three out of three here. It was a little bit harder than what we thought, but that is also good preparation for going into the next phase of this competition. We have dealt with pressure very well in these three games and it is always a good experience and you can put it in a notebook and always go back when the tough times are there again."

On what score would be par in West Indies during the Super 8 stage, Klaasen said that 160-170 would be a great score on the wickets of the Caribbean.

Speaking if cricket should go to other countries like Argentina, Brazil, Russia etc, the batter said, "I think there is a lot of places where - I know there was a Europe League that got started and that got cancelled. We are open as cricketers anywhere as long as it is good conditions and we can play good cricket, we are all open to it and I think it is a good idea to play maybe T20 cricket around the world in different countries. So, I am open to that idea."

South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first. After SA was restricted to 24/4 at one point, Klaasen (46 in 44 balls, with two fours and three sixes) and David Miller (29 in 38 balls, with a four and a six) took Bangladesh to 113/6 in 20 overs.
Tanzim Hasan Sakib (3/18) was the pick of the bowlers for Bangladesh. Taskin Ahmed also took (2/19) in his four overs.

In the run-chase, Bangladesh was 50/4 in 9.5 overs. However, Towhid Hridoy (37 in 34 balls, with two fours and two sixes) took them closer to a victory. Mahmudullah (20 in 27 balls, with two fours) almost pulled off a win for Bangladesh until he was caught by Markram. Bangladesh ended the chase heartbreaking short of the target at 109/7 in their 20 overs.

Keshav Maharaj (3/27) was the pick of the bowlers for South Africa. Kagiso Rabada (2/19) and Anrich Nortje (2/17) also delivered fine spells.

South Africa is at the top of Group D with three wins in three games, with six points. Bangladesh is at number two with a win and loss, giving them two points.

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