South Africa bowler Keshav Maharaj heaped praise on Temba Bavuma as the Proteas managed to claim a 9-run win over India in a rain-curtailed first ODI in Lucknow on Thursday.
India batter Sanju Samson on Thursday played one of the most brilliant innings of his international career as he scored an unbeaten 86, but failed to take Shikhar Dhawan-led Team India over the line against South Africa in the first ODI of the three-match series at Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow.
"He (Bavuma) has done a splendid job (as a skipper) and I was just trying to pass on some information, just need some reassurance sometimes and get the backing from everyone towards certain things," Keshav Maharaj said in the post-match presentation.
Heinrich Klaasen scored an unbeaten 74 off 65 balls hitting six fours and two sixes to guide South Africa to victory. At one point South Africa were in a spot of bother at 110/4 but Klaasen and David Miller struck an important partnership of 139 runs to set India a 250-run target in 40 overs.
"I thought Heinrich (Klaasen) came in and absorbed (the pressure) really well and David (Miller) was hitting the ball stupendously and just exploded in the back end and I think that was the difference between us and the Indian side, getting that partnership towards the end," he added.
Talking about the team's performance, Maharaj said, "We are just making sure that we are doing the right things and hopefully put in more performances going forward building towards the World Cup. We (About chatting to Shamsi from mid-wicket) got our own plans and things, obviously trying to give good energy towards Shammo and just a few thoughts and processes that sometimes do contradict, and sometimes do work in our favour."
Tabraiz Shamsi was the most expensive bowler in the match as he conceded 89 runs in 8 overs with one wicket.
"I was trying to stick to my line and lengths to make it difficult for the batters in terms of not being able to get away, but I still think Shammo (Shamsi) bowled exceptionally well to hold his nerve in the end and take us over the line. It spun excessively. After good batting wickets in the T20s, it was nice to play on a spinning track," said Maharaj.
South Africa won by 9 runs in the 40-over rain-truncated match played here at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow in the first game of the three-match ODI series.
South Africa grabbed crucial points in the World Cup Super League table after their win over India in the thrilling first ODI in Lucknow. (ANI)