AB delighted with mature bowling

2015-01-17 14:22
AB de Villiers (Gallo Images)

Durban - Proteas captain AB de Villiers praised his bowlers after their 61-run Duckworth-Lewis victory over West Indies in the rain-affected opening match of their One-Day International series at Kingsmead, in Durban, on Friday.

Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir and Vernon Philander all bagged three wickets apiece as the tourists were shot out for 164 in 28.2 overs in pursuit of a revised 226 in 32 overs giving South Africa a 1-0 lead in the five-match sequence.

De Villiers described the bowling as "mature", saying he was chuffed with the way they had secured victory against a dangerous West Indies team that were high on confidence following a 2-1 win in the Twenty20 series.

"It was a very mature bowling display towards the end, set up by a really good batting performance," De Villiers said.

"The main thing that makes me proud of the bowling performance was because it was a shortened game.

"We know how dangerous the West Indies are in the shorter format, they showed that in the T20s and the boys showed a lot of maturity with the ball in hand."

The skipper was named man-of-the-match after top-scoring for his country with 81 off 94 deliveries.

He shared in partnerships of 99 with Hashim Amla (66 off 66), who became the fastest batsman ever to 5 000 ODI runs, and 123 with David Miller (70 off 68) as the hosts posted 279 for eight in 48.2 overs before a heavy rain storm. There was a near three-hour delay before the resumed again.

"It was a very long day, nine hours of cricket, so it was long, but also a very good day for us," De Villiers said.

"So I'm pretty chuffed, even though we're nowhere near perfect. There's lots to learn still, but all in all, a very good start to the series."

South Africa had two areas of concern, being the finish to their innings when they lost a cluster of wickets for few runs and the way Chris Gayle got the West Indies off to a flying start during the reply.

"The stats in Durban say that 59 in the last 10 overs for three wickets is the average," De Villiers said.

"It is a really difficult wicket to finish on. I knew that, we are all aware of it and we tried as hard as we could to keep it together there at the end.

"It wasn’t easy. They bowled really well at the end as well. It’s not a concern."

As for Gayle's 24-ball blitz that saw him score 41, the 30-year-old wicketkeeper said the West Indian would always pose a threat.

"There's never calm on the park when Chris Gayle's at the wicket," he said.

"It's always worrying and you know if he bats through, he wins them the game.

"So it's always in the back of your mind that you got to get him out. I thought he was a bit lucky tonight, but we managed to get him eventually."

The second match of the series takes place at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Read more on:    proteas  |  ab de villiers  |  cricket

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