x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Morne Morkel wants Proteas to improve death bowling

The South Africa fast bowler believes his side need to bowl better at the death if they stand a chance of winning the 50-over World Cup next year.

DUBAI // Morne Morkel, the South Africa fast bowler, thinks his side's World Cup challenge next year will be aided by the chastening finishes to their last two one-day internationals in the UAE.

The Proteas succumbed in the second match of the series on Sunday, due to Abdul Razzaq's whirlwind ton. Then, two nights later, they let slip a similarly strong position, before crawling over the winning line by two runs.

The end-of-innings bowling which functioned so well in two Twenty20 wins over the same opposition has now come under fire, but Morkel believes his side will be better off for the experience.

"It is definitely an area we have identified we have to work on in this series here," said Morkel, who took four wickets in Tuesday night's win.

"We know about it and it is a matter of working hard and getting those skills right. It's not just us, it is all world cricket. We saw the same in the Sri Lanka game against Australia [when a record ninth-wicket partnership brought the Asian side an unlikely triumph] that the power play and the last 10 overs can change a game.

"We have been working on it in the nets. I'm sure when it really starts to matter come World Cup time we will get it sorted."

Morkel has yet to be entrusted with the high-pressure final over on this tour, as his allocation have all been used at other strategic points of the innings.

"As soon as Shahid Afridi or Razzaq come in I like to have a go at knocking them over up front," he said.

"When they come in I like to take the ball because we saw how dangerous they can be when they get settled and then they can put us under pressure."

pradley@thenational.ae