South Africa captain AB De Villiers has rued the lack of partnerships during crucial situations in his team’s 29-run (D/L Method) loss to Pakistan at Eden Park on Saturday. The Proteas batsmen squandered a good start in pursuit of a reachable target, but lost wickets at regular intervals in their chase. Of the reason behind his team’s poor record batting second, De Villiers said: ‘I’m not sure. It’s a disappointing loss. We didn’t get enough partnerships during the pressure situations. We have done it in the past but unfortunately tonight we couldn’t do that. I felt that Pakistan wanted it more than us. There is nothing wrong with the batting, it’s a matter of urgency and being prepared to fight it out.’
De Villiers says he doesn’t feel any added pressure of the responsibility after again finishing as the standout performer with the bat, and believes the rest of the line-up is more than capable of pulling off chases under the pressure: ‘I don’t, I have full faith in the abilities of the players around me, that is why they are all here. I know I can’t win this World Cup alone, there is no way, I need my teammates and I know they have the capabilities to do that. It’s a matter of pulling together as a side and moving forward as a unit.’ He gave credit to the energy and hunger from Pakistan’s bowlers, but felt his team may have shown some complacency and lacklustreness ahead of the match: ‘They bowled well, they were fired up and really wanted to win the game, you could see that from a mile away. I tried to get the boys going before the game but it didn’t feel like we had enough energy, I guess that showed with the bat in hand. We weren’t prepared to fight it out.’ The Proteas can still finish in second place by virtue of net run-rate and will want to look ahead to a strong finish in their last group match against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Wellington.
De Villiers added: ‘Hopefully we have four games left in this World Cup and still an opportunity to lift the trophy. We have an opportunity to fix things and to play a good game against the UAE which will help us go into the quarter-finals with a fresh mind-set and belief.’