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‘It’s Nice For Bowlers…’ Anrich Nortje Defends Pitch After Demolishing SL In T20 WC 2024

Nortje picked up 4-7 against SL [AP]
Nortje picked up 4-7 against SL [AP]

South African fast bowler Anrich Nortje tore through Sri Lanka’s middle-order with a scintillating four wicket-haul in the opening Group D match of the ongoing 2024 T20 World Cup.

For his career-best and match-winning figures of 4-7, Nortje was fittingly declared as ‘Player of the Match’ after South Africa’s six-wicket win. After the match, the 30-year-old defended the fast-paced playing conditions on offer at New York’s Nassau County International Stadium, claiming that bowlers also deserve to get some sort of assistance from time to time.

Anrich Nortje defends playing conditions

While speaking during the post-match presentation ceremony, Anrich Nortje acknowledged the lively playing conditions on offer at the newly-built Nassau County International Stadium.

While assessing the pitch, the speedster claimed that there was nothing wrong with the surface, citing that bowlers are allowed to receive some assistance from time to time. He said:

“It was a little bit up and down in the nets as well. We need to train as well as the batters also need to train. It’s not always nice to go out and face balls jumping up, I think you adapt to it on the day and rather work on what you want to in the nets. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the wickets. 

It’s nice for bowlers as well. We are also allowed to get some sort of assistance. When it’s flat, people want to see sixes, so the wheels should turn a little bit somewhere.”

Apart from Anrich Nortje, his pace mate Kagiso Rabada also struck twice in his four-over spell while ace spinner Keshav Maharaj removed Wanindu Hasaranga and Sadeera Samarawickrama for ducks in quick succession. After Sri Lanka rolled over for just 77 in 19.1 overs, South Africa overhauled their meagre target with six wickets and 3.4 overs to spare.

The outcome took South Africa to the top of the Group D points table, and they will now face Netherlands in match number 16 of the 2024 T20 World Cup on June 8 at the same New York-based venue.