Proteas lacked fight, says De Villiers
Auckland, March 7
AB de Villiers says South Africa did not show enough “fight” as they succumbed to defeat against Pakistan.
The Proteas bowled Misbah-ul-Haq’s men out for 222 in Auckland but were dismissed for 202 in reply, with De Villiers (77 from 38 balls) the only batsman to pass 38.
The South Africa captain says he should take some of the blame for not geeing up his players enough before the match, but is adamant his team can still lift the World Cup trophy on March 29.
“It was a disappointing loss and I think Pakistan wanted it more than us,” said De Villiers, whose side have now won three and lost two of their Pool B encounters.“I didn’t feel any electric vibe in the warm-up which usually sets the alarm bells ringing; it’s my responsibility to get the guys going, which I didn’t, and they weren’t prepared to fight.
“I just could feel that nothing was really happening at a hundred percent; it was almost like a car that’s stuck in second or third gear, and that’s not going to win you cricket games, especially not under pressure and in big tournaments like this.”
“We didn’t have good enough partnerships, there were too many soft dismissals and I’ve got nothing good to say about our performance. I firmly believe there’s nothing wrong with the batting line-up, nothing wrong with the cricket team, and I don’t feel there any scars. So I’m still excited about the ability of the players around me and I know we can win the World Cup.”
Pakistan, meanwhile, have won three games on the trot to join South Africa on six points and coach Waqar Younis feels the 1992 champions have finally found the right personnel and where to position them.
Sarfraz Ahmed starred in his first game of the World Cup – scoring a run-a-ball 49 before taking a record-equalling six catches in an ODI innings – while the recalled Younis Khan added a valuable 37 from the No 3 spot.