Broad wants better batting displays
Stuart Broad insists England need to improve their batting after suffering a seven-wicket defeat to South Africa in the first NatWest International T20 at the Emirates Durham ICG.
After AB de Villiers won the toss and opted to field, the hosts lost wickets at regular intervals and had to rely on an unbroken eighth-wicket partnership of 33 from the captain and Graeme Swann to lift them to a below-par 118 for seven.
Johan Botha and Robin Peterson snared two scalps each, while Dale Steyn conceded just 13 from four overs, having triggered an England middle-order collapse that saw six wickets fall for just 35 runs.
Commenting on his side’s disappointing batting display, Broad - who contributed an unbeaten 18 from 22 balls - said: “(There were) some soft dismissals. One thing we have to be aware of is that you win games of Twenty20 cricket with number eight, nine, 10 and 11 not batting, so we have to take responsibility of having a batsman there at the end.
“The wicket was a bit sticky, stoppy and (it was) hard to know what was a good score. But someone has to put their hand up and try and bat through because if you can be 30 or 40 not out with three overs to go you can really hurt a team rather than leaving it to someone else.
“We were probably 20 or 30 short because, from bowling on it, it was quite a hard wicket for batsmen to try and strike the ball on.”
Chasing a modest 119 to go 1-0 up in the three-match series, South Africa slipped to 29 for three after Jade Dernbach struck twice.
However, Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy made unbeaten scores of 48 and 47 to guide their side home with an over to spare.
Although Broad was happy with the early bowling efforts, he knows - with the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka on the horizon - his side need to improve quickly with the bat, starting at Old Trafford on Monday.
He added: “I think the way we started with the ball, to pick up three wickets gave us a sniff. But when you are chasing such a low total, you don’t have to get out of second gear and take too many risks.
“We were pretty short and it was a disappointing batting display. We will have to improve, not only on Monday, but for the next month.”
Broad hinted England may make changes at Old Trafford, adding: “There are going to be some opportunities available; every time you put an England shirt on there will be opportunities and it is up to the guys to really grab them.”
De Villiers was delighted with his bowlers, who justified his decision to field first by producing an impressive display on a slow, turning surface.
“The guys, especially the bowlers, had clear plans and the way they came out made my job easier,” he said.
“The chase was really good - we obviously lost a few wickets, but all in all it was a good performance and good preparation going forward. The bowlers were on the money today.”
Man-of-the-match Steyn, who dismissed Ravi Bopara, acclimatised to the conditions perfectly, despite bowling four one-over spells.
“You have to be sure as to what lines and what lengths you are going to bowl to, what field you are going to bowl too and then you just have to hit your straps,” he said.
“The wicket was pretty slow, a little bit in it, but we were able to use the short ball with the long boundaries. It paid off today. Straight away I got a feeling as to where I should bowl.”