'Hopefully, this will prolong my career bit longer' - Heinrich Klaasen on his match-winning knock in 2nd T20I

Klaasen emerged as South Africa's hero in the 2nd T20I vs India by amassing 81 off 46 balls.

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Heinrich Klaasen
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Heinrich Klaasen. (Photo Source: Twitter)

South African wicketkeeper-batter Heinrich Klaasen emerged as his side’s hero during their tricky chase of 149 against India in the second T20I at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on June 12 as he scored a match-winning 81 runs from 46 deliveries. Reflecting on his memorable knock, Klaasen is hopeful that it will go on to prolong his career.

The Proteas stumper showed nerves of steel when Bhuvneshwar Kumar had rattled their top-order reducing them to 29/3 just before the end of the powerplay, but Klaasen ensured that India had nothing to rejoice at from thereon as he displayed a superb counter-attacking knock and the bowlers failed to rediscover their rhythm.

 I found myself struggling up front: Heinrich Klaasen

“It was difficult (pitch) to bat. I found myself struggling up front. Then I decided if I go out today I would rather go my way and try to be positive. It’s just one of those days that it came off,” said Heinrich Klaasen at the post-match media interaction.

“It’s a blessing from above that this innings came at this time for me in my career. That puts me on the map ahead of international cricket. So, hopefully, this will just prolong my career a little bit longer,” he added.

Heinrich Klaasen has not been in South Africa’s scheme of things for a long time. He was dropped after the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE and was not included in the ODI squad either. More importantly, he also went on to lose his central contract.

The 30-year-old, who was included for the ongoing T20I series, would have still been warming the bench had the first-choice wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock not been ruled out of the last match due to a wrist injury. De Kock’s injury turned out to be a blessing for Klaasen and he made the most of his chances by helping the visitors take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. He would once again be looking forward to proving a point in the third game at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Vizag on June 14.

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