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Proteas have all to play for on Miller's big day

30 July 2022 - 18:10 By SPORT REPORTER
South Africa batsman Reeza Hendricks celebrates his 50 during the 2nd Vitality IT20 match against England at Sophia Gardens on July 28, 2022 in Cardiff, Wales.
South Africa batsman Reeza Hendricks celebrates his 50 during the 2nd Vitality IT20 match against England at Sophia Gardens on July 28, 2022 in Cardiff, Wales.
Image: Stu Forster/Getty Images

In-form Proteas batter Reeza Hendricks is grateful for the opportunities currently at his disposal and is looking forward to again contributing when SA face England in the decisive third T20 International at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Sunday. 

The two teams are level at 1-1 in the three-match series after the hosts won the opening game by 41 runs in Bristol and the visitors responded with a 58-run triumph in match two in Cardiff. 

Right-hander Hendricks delivered strong contributions in both games — crunching 57 off 33 balls and 53 off 32 balls respectively — for a Proteas side that is presently without injured captain Temba Bavuma at the top of the order.  

Several batters are currently in good form meaning competition for places ahead of the World Cup later this year will be tough. Hendricks says all he can do is continue to take his chances. 

“It's obviously nice to contribute,” he said.

“There's a lot of competition within the team at present, which is also a good thing as well. So I'm happy I got the opportunity and managed to put in two good performances.  

“Where that leaves me, I'm not sure, but whatever opportunity I get I'll try to do the best I can. Then whatever happens from there selection wise and where it puts me, it's up to the team, the coaches and the selectors as to where they see me fit.” 

The first two games of the series were back-to-back on Wednesday and Thursday. They also followed hot on the heels of a three-game one-day international (ODI) series that was played in six days. 

“The schedule is quite hectic and it's quite heavy on the body,” Hendricks stated. “But personally if you get into a good run, you can obviously continue with that momentum.  

“As a team as well if we get into a good run we can continue with that. In saying that, it's one apiece at the moment, so it's all to play for tomorrow. It's a quick turnaround. We're preparing today and hopefully tomorrow will be a good one for us.” 

Hendricks, 32, is now hoping to capitalise on his good form and help SA finish the series strongly in Hampshire.   

“It was disappointing (the performance) after the first game and the talk was about bouncing back from that, which we managed to do,” he added. “So this is a big game now but we're quite confident.  

“We back ourselves to go out there and put in another good performance. In saying that, we obviously know that England will come out guns blazing as well, so it's all set up to be a good game.  

“To get a series win in England would be a great achievement, so we're obviously striving for that and hopefully it is a good game. I'd love to think and hope we come out on top.” 

The match will be especially significant for stand-in captain David Miller who is set to win his 100th T20I cap.

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