Melbourne, Mar 28 (ANI): South Africa captain Johan Botha has said that Mark Boucher and Albie Morkel "get paid the big bucks" as they deserve it after leading the Proteas from a shaky 5-83 to victory over Australia in the first Twenty20 international.
Morkel was player of the series in the one-day internationals against Australia in January and on Friday night in Johannesburg scored 37 off 19 balls, including four fours and two sixes, adding 58 for the sixth wicket with Boucher.
Boucher's unbeaten 36 included hitting two fours at the start of the 20th over to guide the home side to a four-wicket win with four balls to spare, News.com.au reported.
It was another gutsy performance from wicketkeeper Boucher, whose 50 not out in South Africa's one-wicket win over Australia in the world record ODI game at Johannesburg's Wanderers ground in 2006 will live long in the memories of those who witnessed it.
"It got a bit tight but you know with those two out there, that's why they get paid the big bucks. They do it under pressure and they did it again tonight. With those two in with a long way to go (7.5 overs left), we knew we still had a chance," Botha said.
"Boucher has done it many times before and he just showed us tonight that he is probably our best finisher with Albie. Morkel is going to be a very important player for us in this whole series (including next month's one-dayers)," he said.
Ponting was also full of praise for Morkel. "He probably won a couple of games single-handedly with his batting in Australia," the skipper said.
"His power hitting tonight probably got them over the line again. So he is a very, very dangerous hitter. They use him very well. They hold him off as late as they possibly can and let him go in for the final onslaught really. It has come off more often than not of late but we have to find ways we can stop that."
Botha, who led the Proteas to a 3-2 win in the ODI series in January over Australia, is keen to get every advantage he can leading into the first match in Durban on April 3. (ANI)