“Keshav Maharaj Told Me…”: South Africa Star Opens Up About Crucial DRS Call Against Pakistan In Cricket World Cup 2023

Tabraiz Shamsi was palpably relieved after surviving a close leg before appeal on ‘Umpire’s Call’ as that one major decision as all but brought curtains on Pakistan’s Cricket World Cup 2023 campaign after a one-wicket defeat to South Africa, their fourth on trot in the tournament. Chasing 271, the Proteas were down to the final pair, and Shamsi faced a strong LBW appeal off Haris Rauf’s bowling, which was given not out by the on-field umpire. As a convinced Rauf opted for the review, it was the ‘Umpire’s Call’ that handed Shamsi the much-needed lifeline by the barest of margins, which somewhat proved to be the decisive factor in the encounter.

“When I walked down the wicket, Keshav (Maharaj) told me that it was sliding down the wicket. So, I felt cool about it,” he told reporters after the conquest.

Maharaj, whose calculated approach was lauded by one and all felt that DRS calls can go either way and South Africa as a unit felt same when Rassie van der Dussen got a contentious leg-before decision off Usama Mir’s bowling when there was confusion with regards to Umpire’s Call and what showed on replay.

As the on-field umpire adjudged him out, the review showed a double umpire’s call, which was heart-breaking for the Proteas.

However, Maharaj felt that despite having mixed feelings, the team had to accept what the technology said.

“Obviously, we felt differently. But when the technology says otherwise, we have to accept it.”

Talking about the chase, Shamsi said that since they had time and deliveries left, they believed to get the job done.

Shamsi admitted that Pakistan pacers were getting the old ball to reverse.

“We knew we had a lot of time, so it was just a matter of getting forward and putting the bat in the way. They were always going to come for the stumps, and the ball was reversing.” “I love it (those nervy moments). That’s probably the only four runs that I have scored the whole year, but with those guys running in and bowling quick, I have never seen the ball as clearly as today. For some reason, it didn’t feel like a pressure situation.” One of the talking points of the South African innings was Marco Jansen’s dismissal off Haris, as he gifted his wicket having already hit him for a four and a six in the over.

However, Shamsi clarified that the batters in his squad have the freedom to take the best shot at that moment.

“If he didn’t get out, we wouldn’t be having this question. We give guys the freedom to take the best option that they think is the best at the moment.” “There’s no pressure on any specific guy to do the job. It didn’t come out for him today. Next game, the ball goes for a boundary, and he is still there batting and winning the game for us.” He also expressed satisfaction with his bowling performance, having claimed a 4/60 and Player of the Match award.

“Very happy with that. Obviously, the guys up front are doing a great job. Full credit to them who bowled before me. We are a unit. Today was my day to take the wickets, but they obviously set it up, and it was my job to continue and make it easier for the guys,” he added.

On his part, Maharaj credited the top-order batters for setting up the platform.

“I was just watching the ball, and I felt confident of being in a position where I could just place the ball in the right area. We know Shaheen, the calibre of a pacer he is. It was quite difficult but lucky enough that we got through the period.” “The batters set it up for us. Yes, there were situations where we felt we had to take the risk. But, the bigger picture was that there were 40 balls to go, and a run a ball would have been enough. (With the field placement) we had to fight our temptation (of going for the big hits).” Maharaj was also elated to have a great depth within the squad, saying, “Fortunate enough to have a lot of depth in our squad, especially from the fast bowlers’ perspective, which is encouraging to see.”

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