South Africa can take key lessons from their one-wicket loss to the West Indies in the fourth One-Day International (ODI) at St George’s Park on Sunday. The nail-biting encounter proved to be a bittersweet learning curve made up of moments of brilliance and misjudgement. Proteas captain, AB De Villiers, praised the execution and skills from his attack missing Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Imran Tahir, but rued the 22 extras leaked by the bowlers. “There were too many extras today which hurt me quite a bit. It was unfortunate that we leaked the extras; the no-balls and wides. If you are going to play close games of cricket it comes down to the little things like that. The one dropped catch by me, a couple of fumbles in the field. All in all it was a great fight by us and I’m proud of the way we stuck to our plans and fought back,” he said.
De Villiers says his teams always expected the visitors to bounce back, and prepared accordingly despite holding an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series. “It’s certainly not a wake-up call. We were wide awake and there is no doubt about the fact that we weren’t complacent. We were on the money the whole time, we were fighting. After every wicket we spoke about being humble and working hard. It came down to a bit of pressure towards the end and we lost. It’s a painful affair but we move on and we will try and finish on a high at Centurion,” added the skipper. David Miller’s maiden ODI century was a timely boost for the middle order, and will give the line-up some confidence after a few matches without substantial time at the crease.
“It was a massive boost. I have been feeling confident over the last few months but it was really nice to finally get the hundred. I believed over the last six, seven months that I can score a hundred so it was a great feeling to score the first one,” said Miller.
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