South Africa captain AB de Villiers explains the reason behind the loss to Australia in fourth ODI
South Africa captain AB de Villiers blamed “soft dismissals” while faf du Plessis admitted that it was the absence of “someone like Virat Kohli” that meant South Africa lost the fourth match of the tri-series in St Kitts against Australia. Chasing 289, South Africa looked in control but lost the lost and were bowled out for 252.
The Proteas top order all got starts but both Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis were dismissed in the 60s and none of the others did enough to take them home and the skipper took some of the blame for that collapse.
"Lots of our dismissals were soft dismissals tonight, including my own,” de Villiers said. "Those things are bad decisions at the wrong time. It's not really something you can work on. It's just something we have to fix in the next game with a better mindset ... The wicket played pretty well throughout the game. We've got no excuse, we just didn't bat well enough.”
Although he was just playing in his first game back from a finger injury, du Plessis played well but couldn’t see his side home and he spoke about what makes the best players in the world right now tick.
"It's one guy saying 'I'm going to win the game today' and putting his hand up," du Plessis said. "If you look at the best players in the world, it's guys that can do that more consistently, someone like Virat Kohli at the moment who is winning a lot of games of cricket for his country. Today we had three batsmen - myself, Hashim and AB - who could have done that.”
"We pretty much controlled the game in that second innings for about 80% of the time, with myself and Hashim and then myself and AB," du Plessis said. "To be honest, I thought that when myself and AB were batting it was pretty much in our hands. We felt in control.
"Obviously we knew Australia had to get wickets to get back in the game and they did that with some good bowling from Starcy at the tail-enders there. But I think we can point the finger straight back at ourselves - some pretty poor shots to give them wickets to get them back in the game.”
While David Warner scored a century and might be out with an injury, none of the Proteas batsmen could convert their starts as Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa each picked up three wickets each to help the Aussies claim an unlikely victory.
Steven Smith also revealed why the Proteas found it dificult to close the game.
"It's always hard to start against a ball that's reversing when you've got someone like Mitchell Starc or Josh Hazlewood coming in at you," Smith said. "I thought those guys did a terrific job when the ball started to go. I think we got five wickets in six overs at one point and that obviously turned the game.
“[Zampa] was good. I put him under a bit of pressure at the end there as well. I bowled him a few overs where they could have hit a few to these small straight boundaries. But he held his nerve nicely. He changed his pace, mixed it up, bowled some googlies and he's come a long way.”