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It wasn't an easy wicket to bat on: Amla

A win like this is the fillip the team needed in the absence of experienced players, says the opener

It wasn't an easy wicket to bat on: Amla - Cricket News
South Africa's Hashim Amla (L) is watched by Pakistan's Kamran Akmal (R) as he bats.
Hashim, you must be happy that the campaign is back on track?
Yeah, absolutely. After the first defeat, I mean, in this kind of competition you're pretty much under pressure to win the next two. Fortunately, we managed to get on the board.

The other thing, just about Chris Morris's debut and Aaron Phangiso coming into the team, how much do you take out of them putting in performances like they did today in such a big game?
Yeah, we all knew Chris and Phangiso. They had been with the team, Chris with the T20 team, and Phangiso has been with us for a while. I think everybody knew of the skills and their hang of the game, and fortunately today they managed to prove it as such. The environment in the team is really conducive for them coming in and expressing themselves. So we pride ourselves on that, and I'm really happy that they did well.    

Just a follow up on that, getting an experienced player who has really come to the fore today, did he take it on for himself to leave the attack and sustain Morkle?  

It seemed like. I think the game, we didn't have a lot to defend at 230 and we thought it was a par score of this type of a wicket.  Fortunately, Tsotsobe was in front, and he seemed to be at his best. He kept scoring really tight, and I think he, as you said, he led from the front which is something that we're really happy that he's done well. 

Hashim, were you surprised at how relatively easy the victory was in the end?  I think the way we kind of fielded and bowled upfront made 230 seemed a lot more. The wicket deteriorated and it wasn't the easy wicket to bat on. As Phangiso, Robin Peterson, and JP Duminy bowled, it made it a lot more difficult and fortunately 230 was enough.  

Why is it you seem to prosper on difficult wickets?  The more difficult they are, the more likely you seem to score runs.
 I don't know. I'm just glad I managed to contribute to the team since yesterday. It was a tough wicket. And upfront, I kept chatting with my partner. In hindsight, I think it was probably a vital partnership in the first 10 overs, and I think we got about 30 odd.  So I'm just fortunate to have contributed a bit. 

Hashim, what's it like facing Pakistan's all left-arm bowlers? They all seem to possess a different challenge?
Yeah, it's unique to our cricket. We don't face many left-armers and a barrage as often as well. The team kind of felt and we kind of know the Pakistan attack is one of the best in the world especially in this tournament. They bowl really well, and I think just the partnerships that we got going kind of made it easier for us to boast this total.

But they're really good attacking, and fortunately today we managed to get 230 odd and our bowlers kind of closed the game down for us.

Hashim, what affect do you think the highly partisan crowd had on you?  Did you respond well to that pressure being a very Pakistan crowd?  Yeah, listen, we're playing away from home, so no matter where we play, it's always going to be loud. When we played in Cardiff, I don't know if you were there, but it was loud as well with a lot of Indian supporters.  It doesn't really make too much of a difference, because we're used to that. We know it's going to be playing away from home, so you don't expect any love from anyone. 

Has the introduction of the two white balls at the top of the innings made a big difference to how you open in one day games? It seems as though people are sort of reverting to a more traditional solid opening in One-Day cricket than being the case recently? 
Yeah, I think it has made a difference, especially if the wicket offers a bit of assistance to the teams. And then you can go into places like the subcontinent, where ideally you'd like two new white balls, because the wickets are a lot more batter-friendly.  So I think in these type of conditions, it's proven to be quite difficult. It's given the bowlers up front a chance, and if you see through that, hopefully you can manage to score some runs. I thought today was probably a good example for that. 

The demons were out after your first defeat and the injury to your bowlers.  It's looking a lot rosier now, isn't it, after this win?
That is how the game goes. It's a fickle game, you know. Without a doubt, not having firstly Dale and Morne on the team, any bowling attack without those guys is going to be tough. We'll miss them. Obviously, we know that Jacques and Graeme are big too, but that's water under the bridge for us, because we've got new guys on the team, new energy, and fortunately a victory like this boosts the confidence of everybody. 

Hashim, obviously, the wicket was key, but the ball still seems to be a problem with run outs on this team? I know.  It's weird.  Can you put your finger on what's going on? 
No, I can't put my finger on it.  It's obviously something that we talked about after the last game. I think these two incidences were a bit freak because both guys seemed to slip. 

Can you put your finger on what's going on?
No, I can't put my finger on it. It's obviously something that we talked about after the last game. I think these two incidences were a bit freak because both guys seemed to slip them and kind of couldn't make the crease. When I was batting, I slipped three or four times, and fortunately I wasn't caught in a bad situation. But I think in this case, the guys slipped just off the pitch. It was quite slippery, and it didn't make it any easier for us.
You have a lovely fan following also in Pakistan being a successful batsman. How do you rate Pakistan batting line-up from the past two matches? Do you think that batting line-up is capable of scoring 230 runs?
Are you really asking me that question (laughing)? I don't know what to say. Obviously, 230 you can score, we just bowled well and managed to defend it.

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