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Proteas coach Boucher confident washout vs Zimbabwe won't derail team's T20 World Cup campaign

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Proteas coach Boucher confident washout vs Zimbabwe won't derail team's T20 World Cup campaign

Hobart, Oct 25 (Ajit Weekly News) South Africa head coach Mark Boucher is not unnerved by the fact his side had to share points with Zimbabwe following the washout of their Super-12 Group 2 match in the ICC T20 World Cup here on Monday, with the former Proteas wicketkeeper saying, “the positive is it’s not a do-or-die game”.

Rain played spoilsport in the nine-over-a-side contest with Zimbabwe scoring 79/5 in their quote of overs, while the Proteas had barely completed three overs of their batting and were 51 without loss and looked set for a massive win when rain played stopped play, denying Temba Bavuma’s side full points. Quinton de Kock was unbeaten on 47 from just 18 balls, when rain intervened.

“The positive is it’s not a do-or-die game for us and we are still in control of what happens in this World Cup,” said Boucher ahead of their next Super 12 assignment against Bangladesh on Thursday.

“We haven’t had a good history with rain (at previous World Cups), but I would rather have it happen in the first game now where we are still in control of what we can actually do,” Boucher was quoted as saying by ICC.

“It is a tough group, and there’s probably one game that is really going to be a game that we’re going to have to win, but we’ll see. It’s still very early in the tournament. I’m just happy the way our intensity was very good today, so that’s a positive I can take out of it. And, also, Quinny (de Kock) played some special cricket shots, which I think, sends a bit of a message as well,” added Boucher, who has announced he will be stepping down as the Proteas coach after the World Cup.

Boucher was impressed with the efforts from his players and happy to take the point and move on. De Kock, 29, smashed eight fours and one massive six during his unbeaten stay and Boucher believes this bodes well for the remainder of the tournament.

“Quinny is one of the most dangerous batters in the world when he plays like that, so it’s nice from a coaching perspective to see him going out there and playing with that freedom,” Boucher said. “It’s very good to Quinny sees a moment where he actually went out and just played the sort of free-flowing game that we know that Quinton de Kock, if he comes off, is very dangerous with.

“Happy for him to get a start like that. Hopefully he can continue with that confidence and that freedom because that’s when I think we get the best out of him.”

Boucher left star spinner Tabraiz Shamsi and experienced batter Reeza Hendricks out of his line-up against Zimbabwe, but said the duo will come into consideration for selection as the tournament progresses. “There’s other players in the 15 (player squad) that are sitting on the side of the field now too and I think that’s the strength of our unit at the moment,” Boucher said.

“We’ve got some good depth, and we have some good options. We decided to go with the extra seamer today, which is quite harsh on Shamsi, but I think it was the right decision, especially with the rain around.

“We’ve got some good options going forward. If guys maybe get injured or lose a bit of form, we have got guys to back them up,” he added.

–Ajit Weekly News

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