Anrich grateful wickets are back on T20 menu

Henry

Anrich Nortjé was at his very best again in New York on Monday in the Proteas’ T20 World Cup victory against Sri Lanka.

The 30-year-old fast bowler – who was on crutches for months with a back injury – came up with a player of the match performance on a fickle pitch.

Nortjé bowled quickly to boast a great bowling analysis of 4/7.

T20 cricket is often described as the fast food version of the game and boundary hits are one of the most popular items on its menu.

But the batsmen undoubtedly got the wind from the front in New York and they could not score a run from 127 deliveries; a new World Cup record.

“Must 20 sixes always be hit before a match is considered exciting?” Nortjé asked.

“Strategy and skills still play a very important role – regardless of whether it rains sixes or whether the bowlers have the upper hand for once. I thought it was a very good cricket match; if we had lost two more wickets, things might have turned out differently.”

Cricket cannot yet compete with other sports such as baseball and basketball in the USA and bat sheets were specially transported to New York for the World Cup.

According to Nortjé, the batsmen also struggled in the nets to get used to the uneven bounce.

He admits that adaptability is the key, but he doesn’t have too many complaints about the match sheet.

“Bowlers may also enjoy a little advantage and it’s okay if the pitch helps us for once as well. It is different from what we have become accustomed to in the past few years. There is something in the pitch for the bowlers to work with and I don’t see anything wrong with that.”

The fast bowler added that he doesn’t quite know what to expect going forward.

“Is the pitch going to get faster or slower, or is it going to get better for batting? I’m not an expert at all, but we simply have to adapt to the conditions.”

South Africa’s World Cup Fixtures:

8 June: South Africa vs Netherlands in New York

June 10: South Africa v Bangladesh in New York

June 15: South Africa v Nepal in Kingston