Chester-le-Street - Before the Cricket World Cup started, Proteas captain Faf du Plessis spoke a lot about their not being a need for 'superhero' performances. 

Instead, he wanted players doing their jobs and doing them well. 

If the Proteas were going to win the tournament, Du Plessis said, it would not be because one player blasted them to glory. It would be a team effort and one that saw every member of the 15-man squad performing his own role. 

As it turns out, South Africa perhaps could have used one or two special individual performances along the way, because they were mathematically eliminated from the World Cup after losing 5 of their first 7 fixtures. 

Friday's 9-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Durham may have been convincing, but it did not mean a thing in the greater scheme of things.

There were still one or two positives on an individual level. 

Du Plessis (96*) and Hashim Amla (80*) shared an unbeaten stand of 145 for the second wicket to see the Proteas cruise over the line, but the man-of-the-match performance belonged to allrounder Dwaine Pretorius for his 3/25 (10)

It is the most economical 10-over return the World Cup has seen in 2019 in what was only Pretorius' second appearance of the tournament. 

The 30-year-old played in the May 30 opener against England at The Oval but put in a poor display that saw him go 0/42 (7) and then run himself out for 1 in a manner that Pretorius himself refers to as a "fourth-grade mistake". 

As a result, he has had to be patient in waiting for his next opportunity and he spent the next six games sidelined. 

His offering on Friday, though, ticked all the boxes.

Pretorius will never be the flashiest player in the Proteas set-up, but he proved that hitting good areas consistently can still be very effective in ODI cricket.

"That is what we were looking for from all our bowlers in all conditions," Du Plessis said after the match.

"The more accurate you can be the more effective you are.

"It is about doing your job and the basics extremely well and that is not needing to bowl at 160 kph, or swinging the ball both ways consistently.

"There was nothing much about his bowling, he just ran in and bowled a good line and length."

Du Plessis added that Pretorius was a "good example" of not needing to be a superhero to win matches for your side. 

While looking on from the bench, Pretorius has kept putting in the hard yards at training, waiting for an opportunity.

"It's a team sport. The captain and coach have gameplans and if you're part of the 15 you just need to keep working and hopefully your chance comes," he said.

"There are a few of us that have done a few games like that. Myself and Shamo (Tabraiz Shamsi) chat about it and it's a very tough situation, but the players and the group really look after us. We never feel like outsiders.

"I try not worry about who I am competing with or who is playing in my spot. I just try and be the best version of myself and hopefully there is a space for me."

Pretorius will almost certainly play in South Africa's final match of the World Cup against Australia in Manchester on July 6.

@LloydBurnard is in England covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup for Sport24 ...