After getting soundly beaten in the 1st T20 match against India, South Africa got their own back with their new recruit Heinrich Klaasen. But the 26-year old has credited skipper JP Duminy for influencing his game. He said that Duminy’s presence was crucial for his match-winning knock against India in the second Twenty20 International.
Klaasen scored a hefty 69 off 30 balls allowing the Proteas to win by six wickets. With this victory, they levelled the three-match series 1-1. He said that Duminy advised him to go big, with the captain notching up 97 runs.
Klaasen said, “Duminy was the key factor to my whole innings. Second over or the first over I faced, he told me this over needs to go for 10. He told me to just play my normal game and take the bowlers on. Luckily it worked out. The way JP told me to go, this over needs to go for 20, it takes all the fear out of your game. Then it is very important to keep a calm head. There was a stage when I was swinging quite hard.
Speaking about the opposition, he admitted that the Indians were very skilful bowlers. So it was not easy to score on every ball. Heinrich Klaasen created a South African record of the fastest half-century in T20I cricket by a South African batsman at Centurion. Klaasen rated this innings better than the Wanderers innings where rain played spoilsport.
He continued, “This one definitely wins – my home ground. It’s something you dream about as a young kid, to play for your country on your home ground, and to win a game for your country. This one takes the cherry on the cake. In the first five or six overs, we actually tried to keep up with Duckworth-Lewis. Luckily on the fifth or the sixth over, the drizzle stopped. I said to JP, we can now actually stay one boundary under the DL target, and it worked out.