Dazzling Duminy eager to silence SA's detractors

Dazzling Duminy eager to silence SA's detractors

Cape Cobras' batsman stole the show with top-class innings

Jean-Paul Duminy

Cape Cobras, chasing 181, were tottering at 14 for two after 2.4 overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore when Duminy walked into the field. The sight of quality bowlers and the sheer size of the target might have reduced many batsmen to a bundle of nerves.

But Duminy displayed a temperament cooler than the Bangalore weather, taking runs at a brisk pace without ever playing a rash shot. Duminy knew exactly where Anil Kumbe had his fielders positioned as the left-hander picked the gaps with perfection. The most remarkable evidence of his sense of the field came when he finally mastered Kumble’s teasing line with a cut off the last ball of the 13th over past the short third man fielder for a four, a tough shot to play against a bowler like Kumble.

Never easy

“Pressure situations are never easy. We speak a lot about staying calm in situations like this and being positive and backing yourself.

“I think that’s what got me over the line against RCB. I got Shukri (Cobras’ coach) who is a firm believer in backing yourself, no matter what, especially in T20 when one ball can change the game,” he said.

That shot against Kumble reflected Duminy’s unwavering belief in his skills and technical proficiency besides making it clear to RCB that the night belonged to him and the Cobras.
Kumble had little hesitation in acknowleding the brilliance of his foe. “After the early dismissal of Gibbs, Duminy was the danger man and he played a brilliant innings.”
It was not the first time the southpaw was facing such a tight position. Duminy was in similar situations for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League II; unfortunately he could not take them past the post. Perhaps, his experience of being in tight situations in the past helped him to stay focused.

Cobras required 61 runs in the last six overs, and Duminy was on 57 off 34 balls then.
The Cape Town-born batsman found his full range at this juncture, smashing 42 runs off the next 19 balls that included three sixes. A perfect example of judging the situation to a nicety.

“Being in such situations earlier sometimes help you. But my team has always ended second best earlier and this was the first time I have won the game for my team from such a situation, so I am pleased,” Duminy detailed.

At 25, Duminy has enough time to liberate South Africa of that much-loathed tag of chokers. Will we see the rise of a legend killer?