Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Shock defeat behind the Proteas, says Bavuma, as England await

Bavuma insists the SA team are not allowing one loss to derail their plans or their motivation.

After having “hard conversations” as a team, captain Temba Bavuma says the Proteas have put their shock defeat to the Netherlands behind them as they set their sights on England at the Cricket World Cup.

The SA team were handed their first loss of the tournament by the lowly-ranked Dutch side earlier in the week, and Bavuma said they were ready to square off against the defending champions in Mumbai on Saturday.

“We’ve put that behind us,” Bavuma said yesterday, as the in-form Proteas looked to recover from their surprise knock on their path to the semifinals.

“We’ve obviously got the challenge of England and we are, I guess, preparing to get ourselves in the right mental state, physically as well, to play our best cricket there.”

‘One blip’

While they had gone into detail during their reviews of the game against Netherlands, Bavuma insisted they were not allowing that loss to derail their plans or their motivation.

“We have obviously spoken about the game (against Netherlands) from a skills department point of view – what exactly we need to do to get better,” Bavuma said.

“I think we also acknowledge the fact that in the last couple of months, we’ve played a lot of good cricket, so I think it’s not to overlook that and allow one ‘blip’ in our game to override everything that we’ve done, and still keep the confidence in everything that we are doing.

“I think it’s easy to second-guess yourselves, second-guess your processes and your game, so it’s not to forget all the good work that we’ve done.”

Chasing playoffs

Targeting their maiden World Cup title, South Africa were still well in contention for a spot in the playoffs as they approached the midway stage of the opening round, and they were eager to keep their campaign on track by bouncing back.

England, meanwhile, were in an even more precarious position following defeats to New Zealand and Afghanistan – another shock loss in what is becoming a tightly contested global spectacle – and a battle was expected between the two sides in their round-robin clash.

Saturday’s match, being played at Wankhede Stadium, starts at 10.30am (SA time).

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