Johannesburg - In the wake of their second consecutive loss to a Chris Gayle-fuelled West Indies T20 team at the Wanderers on Sunday, Proteas T20 captain Faf du Plessis lauded the efforts of the talismanic left-hander.
“It's very hard to contain Chris Gayle when he's playing like that,” said Du Plessis after his side went 2-0 down in the three-match T20I series.
“He's just a cut above the rest. The other guys are dangerous players, but without him they'd be a normal team. He makes them a superhuman team.”
The Proteas were unable to defend their total of 231 for seven in their allotted 20 overs, as Gayle blasted 90 from 41 balls helping the West Indies achieve the highest successful run chase in T20 international cricket.
Earlier, Du Plessis had notched up the highest score by a South African in the format, with 119 from 56 balls, as the hosts posted a formidable total.
The 30-year-old, however, said he always knew the West Indies would produce a strong reply.
“I told the guys that they were going to get close to this score. It's just the batting line-up they have and the way they set up their innings.
“With a score like that, they will pretty much hit from ball one and they have the hitting ability to do that. They blasted us once again on a good wicket.”
Du Plessis, missing out to Gayle for the man-of-the-match award, said his century in a losing cause was not what he had envisioned.
“I joked that it's heartbreaking when you score your first T20 hundred and you don't even get a crack at the man-of-the-match.
"It would've been so much sweeter if we won the game. Although I'm very proud of my efforts today, losing the game makes it bittersweet.”
Bowler Kyle Abbott notched up an unenviable record on the night - the most runs conceded by a bowler in T20Is with his 1/68 off four overs.
However, his captain said he should not read too much into being the target of the West Indian assault.
“It's never nice to go for a lot runs but, as a bowler, Abbott understands T20 cricket is there for the bowler to get a beating. He will be disappointed in his performance tonight, but it's the name of the game.
“It's a bad day at the office, but it happens. I can nick off for nought and it's a disappointing day for me but it doesn't affect the way I look at the next game.”