Cape Town - When AB de Villiers came to the Newlands wicket on Sunday with the score at 22/3, South Africa's chances of winning their ODI series against England appeared to be fading.
The Proteas had bowled England out for a modest 236 and were favourites at that stage, but a top-order collapse meant that the visitors were in the driver's seat when De Villiers joined Hashim Amla.
The pair put on a measured 125-run fourth-wicket stand that proved to be the difference - De Villiers finishing 101* in a knock that further enhanced his reputation as South Africa's superstar.
"You live for those pressure moments. It’s taken me years to
feel comfortable in pressure situations like that and I’m starting to feel like
I really have good composure in those situations," De Villiers said.
"That’s something I’m really
proud of … the composure I had in a moment where I felt like the game was on
the line. Hash and I had to make a play to get us back in the game and we’re
very proud about that."
De Villiers added that the discussions with Amla were to keep things as simple as possible.
chat was basically not to worry about the runs and just to make sure we got in
and didn’t lose another wicket," said De Villiers.
"It was a very positive chat. I felt that it was
really important for us to take it 10 runs at a time and get to a 50-run
partnership. We were prepared to put in the hard yards."
De Villiers had raised a few eyebrows when he sent in Rilee Rossouw in ahead of him at No 4 - a decision that at first seemed to have backfired when the left-hander was dismissed for four.
"I like moving myself down the order when we're chasing, I really like to be there at the end," said De Villiers.
"And Rilee is very good against the new ball ... he goes hard at it. I have no doubt in my mind that he will come good."
The Proteas are currently in a team-building camp ahead of Friday's opening T20I against England at Newlands.