Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Proteas not getting ahead of themselves, says Markram

"I don't think you want to start trying to do maths this far out."

Despite being well placed on the log in the opening round, Proteas stand-in captain Aiden Markram insists they are not yet focusing on the Cricket World Cup playoffs, as they prepare for their next match against Pakistan on Thursday.

After thumping Bangladesh by 149 runs on Tuesday, the SA team climbed to second place in the round-robin standings, just two points behind unbeaten hosts India with four wins from their five matches thus far.

With four games still to play in the opening round, however, Markram said they were not getting ahead of themselves.

“I don’t think you want to start trying to do maths this far out,” said Markram, who replaced Temba Bavuma as skipper for their last two matches with the regular skipper unavailable due to illness.

“There’s still four games of cricket and that’s potentially eight points up for grabs. That’s what we’re going to try to push for.

“I think if you start sitting and hoping for a result from this team and trying to work out ‘we maybe only need two wins left’ or whatever it is, I don’t think that’s a great place to be as a unit.

“So I’m sure we’ll stay far away from that and focus on the very next game and try to back up performances that we’ve put in so far.”

Frustrated at the death

Chasing 383 runs to win, Bangladesh were left reeling at 81/6, but veteran middle-order batter Mahmudullah made 111 to carry them to a total of 233.

With Quinton de Kock smashing 174 runs to take the game away from their opponents, the result was never really in doubt, but Markram admitted their bowling attack had been frustrated at the death.

He nonetheless felt they could take positives out of the game as they geared up to face fellow title contenders Pakistan in Chennai.

“I think it was good for us to be able to tap into death plans to a batter that was in and putting us under a bit of pressure,” Markram said.

“So I think there was a lot of value in that for us, and then naturally to keep taking wickets from the other end is also good for the bowling unit.

“So sometimes you can get a bit frustrated in the field but I think the game comes to an end and you sit back and you realise the good value that was out there in what happened for us.”

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