Rawalpindi [Pakistan], February 9 (ANI): After losing the two-match Test series against Pakistan, South Africa head coach Mark Boucher admitted that his side lacked match awareness in terms of being ruthless and this ended up costing the side.
Hasan Ali took a match haul of 10 wickets as Pakistan registered their first Test series win over South Africa since 2003 on Monday. South Africa needed 243 runs to win on the final day of the second Test but Hasan picked five while Shaheen Afridi took four wickets as Pakistan defeated the Proteas by 95 runs. With the win in the second and final Test, Pakistan claimed the series 2-0.
"The way we played in big moments really cost us. Our match awareness of when to tighten the screws was lacking. That is the reason why we lost the game. We didn't bat well, didn't field well but our bowling stood out. We created opportunities, we just didn't take them. That cost us, in this game alone, about 150 runs," ESPNCricinfo quoted Boucher as saying.
South Africa had a great chance of winning the match but the side ended up dropping crucial catches in the second innings. The visitors put down Mohammad Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf, who were yet to score a run at that time.
"If we had taken those catches, we would have them 76 for 7, and maybe bowled them out for 120, chased 220, and won the game," said Boucher.
Speaking about batting collapses in the sub-continent, Boucher said: "It is more mental. Maybe there are some technical issues in guys are getting out in the same sorts of ways every time but we are continuously looking at little technical things that we can improve on. There are lots of scars from past tours to the subcontinent. Some guys who have had technical issues in the past, like Aiden Markram spent time at the crease and was able to fight his way through it. It is more mental than anything else."
Before the start of the second Test, Boucher had confirmed that wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock would no longer be the Test skipper. The coach has now said that the time is right to appoint someone looking at the long-term goals.
"We have got a bit of time now. We have got time to make a non-emotional, smart decision on the way forward. If it is looking at someone else to do that job, the time is probably now. We have got a bit of time and we can give that guy a few months to get his way in and listen to what thoughts he's got," said Boucher.
Pakistan and South Africa will now lock horns in the three-match T20I series, beginning February 11. (ANI)