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Hosts ‘confident’ ahead of second T20 against Sri Lanka


By Kristopher Hinz | January 22, 2017

Boosted by their recent dominance, a rampant South Africa will prove hard to beat when Sri Lanka play them in the second T20 on Sunday. © AFP

South Africa's most experienced batsman in the shortest form of the game, David Miller, says his side are confident following a 19-run win over Sri Lanka in the rain-marred first T20. They will meet Sri Lanka again later on Sunday for the second T20 in Johannesburg.

"It's a great stepping stone for us, this new T20 side, winning the first game and moving with some momentum into Sunday's game," Miller said.

"There's not many T20s that are played each year and there's a quick turnaround. We're trying to really get to know each other as quickly as possible and this [the win] helps hugely, so I think we're in a great spirit with good momentum for Sunday."

Miller top scored with 40 from 18 balls as South Africa posted a huge total of 126 from just 10 allotted overs.

Sunday's game is expected to be a sold-out crowd, with less than 2000 tickets remaining at the time of writing, and could seal the series for the hosts.

Sri Lanka's fast bowlers conceded heavily in the first game, but their spinners normally prove economical. Miller said the team was "working on" ways to counter Sri Lanka's spinners and praised the bowlers for the way they defended the total in a shortened match.

"They bowled really well, it was tough to defend," he said. "Lungi (Man of the Match Lungi Ngidi) did very well, it was an outstanding performance from the bowlers. The guys were under pressure in the first six or seven overs but the last three were outstanding."

Miller, who is yet to play a Test match for South Africa, averages 35.63 after 55 first-class matches and has also played in 87 ODIs. He explained the ability to get settled at the crease was key to adapting to the different formats of the game.

"I've learnt over the last couple of years that every format remains the same," said Miller. "You are trying to get yourself in but it's just that you have less time.

"The basics still apply, you still have to try and face the first few balls, and once you get the feel of the wicket and assess as quickly as possible, you can react to how you are going to move forward.

"You always feel like you have to 'tonk' every ball but you have to try and build a good foundation, which we did in the first two or three overs, you have to try and take it deep as much as you can, even if it's short.

"You need to put your pride aside and if you contribute it all adds up towards the end. I think the guys did outstanding."

The second match of the three-match T20 series takes place on January 22 at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

© Island Cricket

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