Sharjah: Maratha Arabians batsman Rilee Rossouw emulated Javed Miandad at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium during the Heera Group T10 Cricket Leauge match against Team Sri Lanka on Friday night. Like Miandad, who hit a last ball six to see Pakistan to victory against India in the Sharjah Cup final in 1986, Rossouw hit a six off the last ball and remained unbeaten on 49 to gift Maratha Arabians a five-wicket win.
Rossouw kept his cool despite chasing a stiff target of 125 runs even with wickets falling at the other end. When asked how it felt to play the shot and win the match under pressure, the 28-year-old South African, said: “It is unbelievable, to chase down 125 in a T10 match is not something you could have thought of 20 years ago. I am very happy, so excited can’t wait for what is ahead for this format.”
When asked about the format, Rossouw said: “This is the way forward, I absolutely love this format.”
Rossouw, considered one of the most dashing batsmen in modern cricket, hit six sixes in his 18-ball knock. When asked how he paced his innings in this format, Rossouw said: “I went for my shots from ball two. The approach in this format should be ‘see ball-hit ball.’
Did the frequent fall of wickets at the other end upset him? “I think in this format that does not matter. You have to carry the momentum, you cannot pack up saying the wickets have started falling at the other end. You have to try and capitalise on whatever is possible. You have to keep going at all costs,” said the left-hander, who has three centuries in One Day Internationals to his name.
Rossouw said that in this format one should not think negatively as a batsman. “In this format, two or three overs can change the game. We knew we had the batting depth to chase something like this score.”
Will playing in T10 be of great use for him while playing in T20? “It can help because when T20 came into place people asked the same question whether playing in 50 overs had helped them.”
Rossouw coud play in the T10 League because his country’s plan to stage the Global Cricket League got postponed. Did the postponement turn out to be a blessing in disguise for him?
“I am one who believes that one should take every game that comes your way. You can only prove through your performances in games. We are blessed to have this tournament.”
Rossouw is all for the suspense the T10 format builds up. “Anything can happen here and we don’t want to say we are going to win this tournament; at the same time, don’t want to say we want to lose. Anything can happen in this format and it is for those who are best on that night.”
Rossouw has ready advice on how to bounce back if spirits go down after a defeat. “By having your spirits down, you are not going to go anywhere. In such a short format, if you lose, you have to get back on the horse and ride it again.”