Copy of 20221103265L-1667630911726
South Africa's Temba Bavuma. Image Credit: T20 World Cup Twitter

South Africa have been brought “back to earth” by their defeat to Pakistan at the T20 World Cup but will use it as a wake-up call ahead of their must-win match against the Netherlands, captain Temba Bavuma said.

The Proteas could have sealed a semi-final berth with victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground but instead slumped to a 33-run loss in the rain-shortened Super 12 match.

Second in Group 2 and a point behind India, Bavuma’s side now need to beat the lightly regarded Netherlands in Adelaide on Sunday to be sure to advance.

Very dangerous

Bavuma said “the wheels came off” for South Africa as Pakistan went on to post 185 for nine after being reduced to 43 for four early on.

“A team like Pakistan, as you know, is very dangerous when you give them any type of momentum,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s a big concern. Yes, there are talking points for us, areas that we can learn from.

“Maybe it’s a performance that we needed to ... maybe bring us down back to earth.” Bavuma lamented his team’s poor fielding and declined to blame the weather as a slew of catches went to grass in the drizzly final overs of the first innings.

“Up until this game, our fielding has been very good. We fielded at night,” he said.

Wet conditions

“We fielded during the day. We fielded in wet conditions.

“Maybe the intensity lowered a bit for the guys. Individually, the guys know but it’s definitely not the standard of fielding that we pride ourselves on.” The loss of experienced middle order batsman David Miller to back spasms did not help South Africa’s cause after rain and the Duckworth-Lewis method left them an improbable victory target.

Bavuma said Miller’s benching was precautionary, though, and expected him to return for the Netherlands.