Proteas loss 'painful affair'

2015-01-26 10:48
AB de Villiers (Gallo Images)

Port Elizabeth - Proteas' captain AB de Villiers has described the South African cricket team's loss against the West Indies in Port Elizabeth as a "painful affair".

"We were wide awake the whole way through there. We weren't complacent or anything like that," said De Villiers after the West Indies achieved their victory target of 263 with one wicket and nine balls to spare.

It was the South Africans' first defeat in the series.

The Proteas' effort with the ball, defending their total, started according to plan as they had the West Indies 73 for five in the 21st over.

But a 93-run stand for the sixth wicket between Darren Sammy (51) and Marlon Samuels (68) kept the visitors on track in their chase.

"After every wicket we were talking about staying humble, keep working hard, running balls down to the boundary.

"There's no way it was a wake-up call. It came down to a little bit of pressure at the end there and we lost. It's a painful affair but we move on and we will try to finish on a high at Centurion," said De Villiers.

His side head to the Highveld leading the series 3-1, with the final match on Wednesday.

In their innings, South Africa lost their first four wickets for 76, exposing their middle order.

David Miller, coming in at five, heeded the call as he notched up his maiden One-Day 100, scoring 130 from 133 balls with 11 fours and three sixes.

The knock added to Miller's 70 he scored in the first ODI as his form seemed to be picking up heading into the World Cup next month.

JP Duminy contributed with 43, the first time he passed 12 since returning from a knee injury he picked up in Australia in November.

De Villiers was satisfied his batsmen were beginning to click at the right time.

"I am very chuffed with the middle order. I know we're going to need that middle order at the World Cup if we are going to win it.

"I want bowling line-ups to look at our batting line-up and think we are not going to get through there. We are building up confidence in that middle order."

Miller had struggled to get to three figures in his 61 matches coming into the game, with a best of 85 amid eight half-centuries in the format.

Given his opportunity to bat for the majority of the 50 overs at the coastal ground, Miller was able to grind out an innings of substance in contrast to his regular role as finisher.

"The last two years I've been working really hard at my game where I rotate the strike. I had a great opportunity to come in early and bat for 50 overs," said Miller.

"It was a massive boost. I believed the last six or seven months that I could score a hundred."

Ideally, Miller would be used in the latter overs in the World Cup and he said he would apply himself wherever he batted.

"It is always nice to play yourself in, but wherever I bat in the World Cup I'll just try and do my best."

Read more on:    proteas  |  ab de villiers  |  cricket


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