Klaasen says 'mindset change' key to SA success in New York

cricket10 June 2024 19:22| © MWP
By:Neil Manthorp
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Heinrich Klaasen admitted that it required a “complete change of mindset” by him and the rest of the South African team to succeed in the conditions offered by the Nassau County Stadium on Long Island, New York, during their three T20 World Cup games in Group ‘D’.

South Africa beat Sri Lanka by six wickets after bowling them out for 77 before scraping past the Netherlands by four wickets chasing 104 and then beating Bangladesh by just four runs in the final match on Monday.

“It’s still entertaining cricket, it’s very different to what we are used to in T20 cricket but the games have been tense with tight finishes,” said Klaasen, who scored 46 from 44 balls to help his team recover from 23-4 to reach 113-6.

“We changed our mindset completely from T20 cricket to more like the middle overs of an ODI, just try to gather some singles. We certainly have never played T20 cricket before where a run-a-ball is good going!”

So, did he believe the experiment of bringing cricket to New York had been a success?

“Yes and no, there is a bit more cricket played in Dallas and Florida with established stadiums, but they’ve done an incredible job here. The crowds were fantastic, the noise and atmosphere were incredible, so from that aspect it was a great success,” Klaasen said.

“The pitches are only four months old so they need to be used more, it would have been good if teams were scoring 160. But they’re taking the pitches away in a couple of days, so I guess that’s not going to happen. It’s still been good cricket, but I guess it’s a harder sell to a new market than higher scoring games,” Klaasen said.

Towhid Hridoy top-scored for Bangladesh with 37 but admitted that his team had thrown away a golden chance to win with just 20 runs required from the last three overs and six wickets in hand:

“We should have won from that position so it is disappointing for all of us. All the games have been low scoring here, we were prepared for that and we bowled very well to keep them to that score,” Towhid said.