AB up­beat about the fi­nal ODI to­day

CityPress - - Sport -

AB de Vil­liers be­lieves the mo­men­tum is now on his team’s side for to­day’s cru­cial match in the one-day se­ries against Eng­land at New­lands in Cape Town.

“Eng­land are now in the same boat we were in when we lost the first two games. It’s not a nice feel­ing, be­cause you start doubt­ing your­self and don’t know what to do to get back on the win­ning track,” said De Vil­liers on Fri­day at the Wan­der­ers af­ter his team’s dra­matic one-wicket vic­tory in the Pink Day game.

South Africa are un­beaten in the four matches they have now played in pink to raise funds to fight breast can­cer.

But De Vil­liers also warned his play­ers not to think vic­tory would come au­to­mat­i­cally to­day.

“When we walk on to the field, we start with a clean slate. What hap­pened be­fore doesn’t re­ally count, though of course we have the con­fi­dence of the last two games.”

Chris Mor­ris’ win­ning in­nings of 62, said De Vil­liers, was the kind of in­nings that could make a player’s ca­reer.

“It will give him tremen­dous self­con­fi­dence. We have known for a long time what he is ca­pa­ble of and it was only a mat­ter of time be­fore he played this in­nings,” he said.

“As long as there was an­other bats­man at the crease with him, we hoped it could be done. The re­quired run rate was never ex­ces­sive.

“With Kyle Ab­bott there with Mor­ris, I was still con­fi­dent, be­cause Abbo knows how to han­dle a bat.”

De Vil­liers ad­mit­ted there were some flut­ters when the last bats­man, Imran Tahir, walked out with only one run needed for the vic­tory.

“Sud­denly your heart rate picked up,” he said. How­ever, Tahir im­me­di­ately sent the ball through the cov­ers to the bound­ary.

De Vil­liers felt there was a great hunger in the team for this vic­tory, and they showed it in their field­ing.

“When we had them at 108/6, we should ac­tu­ally have got them out for just 150. We al­lowed them to get away and that was a bit dis­ap­point­ing,” he said.

Eoin Mor­gan, the Eng­land cap­tain, was dis­ap­pointed and ad­mit­ted his team had many chances to win the game and the se­ries.

“We prob­a­bly scored 30 runs too lit­tle. The at­mos­phere was in­tim­i­dat­ing and may have played a role in our de­feat. We have many young play­ers who are still not re­ally used to this kind of pres­sure.

“How­ever, I don’t re­ally know why we didn’t even­tu­ally come out on top. Yet it was a re­mark­able game that could have gone ei­ther way right at the end.

“We have to for­get what hap­pened here and hope things work out in our favour in Cape Town,” he said.

– Christo Buch­ner

PHOTO:LEE WAR­REN / GALLO IM­AGES

MO­MEN­TUM Cap­tain AB de Vil­liers says the mo­men­tum is now with the Proteas, but they will have to push the re­set but­ton when they play the fi­nal ODI to­day

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