Cape Town - Proteas’ batsman David Miller has credited his match-winning innings of 85 off 72 balls in
the third ODI against Sri Lanka at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
on Friday to the hard work he has put in over the last 18 months.
Miller’s career-best performance was crucial in the Proteas’ 56-run win,
and further cemented his position as a destructive finisher in the team.
“This knock means a lot to me,” a thrilled Miller said.
“It was really
enjoyable out there, especially blocking out some balls and soaking it up. It
was great batting with AB (De Villiers) as
well, he was helpful and gave me a lot of advice. I think I learnt a lot out
“I also enjoyed playing a lot of the spin,” he
added. “It was slow and turning a lot, for me the key was just about watching
the ball, it was a great challenge.”
Miller says it was a strategic call between himself and Ryan McLaren to wait
until the last two overs before going on the attack, a strategy which paid off
with 38 runs coming off the last 12 balls. His captain, AB de Villiers, was
equally proud of his performance, but also commended the way the team handled
the pressure of the must-win match.
“We have always known that he has the ability to turn the game around on any
kind of wicket and its pleasing to see that coming through,” De Villiers said
of Miller’s innings.
“I think he has learnt a lot about his game in the last
few months, and it’s great to see him perform like that.”
The Proteas’ three replacements all made telling contributions towards the
victory, a trait De Villiers says comes from within the team environment.
think we have a good understanding between the players sitting out, the guys
who don’t play sometimes even put in more effort than the players on the
field,” he said.
“All of them played well,” he added. “ Especially Lopsy (Tsotsobe) up front
with the ball in hand. After losing out in the first two matches having to
prove his form and conditioning, and coming back like that to show his skills
was pleasing for me.”
The captain feels the squad will take a lot of confidence from the way they
defended the low total of 223, and their reaction to the pressure situations.
The squad held an optional training session on Saturday afternoon, with a few
players eager to fine-tune some areas ahead of the crucial fourth ODI on Sunday.