Winning first game was turning point of series: Duminy

Kolkata, Oct 9 (IANS) South Africa’s premier middle-order batsman J.P. Duminy says chasing down a stiff 200-run target in the first T20 International (T20I) against India at Dharamsala was the turning point of the three-match series which they ultimately won 2-0.

The visitors clinched the second match at Cuttack while the third at the Eden Gardens was a washout on Thursday.

“I think the first one was a big one for us especially the way we finished the game. 200 was a stiff target and chasing that gave us a lot of confidence going into the second T20I,” Duminy told media persons here on Thursday night.

The left hander was adjudged Man of the Tournament in the T20I series.

Duminy also lauded the efforts of the South African bowlers who produced a clinical performance to bowl out India for 92 in Cuttack.

“We knew going into the second game that we needed to improve as a bowling unit. That was a big plus for us; the way we bowled, the discipline we showed within our bowling department. That is going to be a big tick for us in the T20 format.

“With the results that we have got here now, will give us a lot of confidence going into the T20 series against England and Australia and obviously the World cup coming in a few months,” said the dashing left-hander who scored an unbeaten 68 in the first game.

Speaking about the knock, he said: “I was changing nappies because I had a daughter a few weeks back. That is pretty much what I have been doing in the last month or two. I would definitely put it down as one of my better innings, especially in international cricket in the shorter format.”

“I guess the key for me is to stay hungry to perform for the team and putting in big performances. But that first game is definitely a step in the right direction for my confidence especially the way we finished,” he said.

Duminy was, however, wary of the threat that India will pose in the one-dayers and the Test matches. He believes that the hosts are very capable of making a strong comeback.

The two teams now shift to Kanpur for the first of the five-match ODI engagements on Sunday. The Proteas round up their tour with a four-match Test series.

“As a team, we definitely expect them to put in a big performance in the two series. Yes, it was important for us to start well but we are under no illusion that it is going to be a walkover in the ODI series.”

“We know that we have to fight hard and play well and take it one game at a time. Our focus is on Kanpur and hopefully we can start off well in that series as well.

“That is going to give us a lot of confidence. We know that they are a great ODI team so it is important for us to start off well in the ODI series,” Duminy added.

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