(ESPN Cricinfo) AB de Villiers has identified the last 10 to 12 overs of South Africa’s innings as the period of play that cost his side the match in their tri-series opener against hosts West Indies in Guyana.
South Africa had made 130 for 2 in 30 overs, before de Villiers got out off the first ball of the 31st. Thereafter, the innings fell apart, with the last five wickets falling for 16 runs to leave South Africa 188 all out.
“It’s a disappointing loss tonight,” de Villiers said. “Definitely, in the last 10 to 12 overs with the bat in hand we lost our way a bit. I thought we set it up exceptionally well and the communication was that 220-plus would be a winning score. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get there. I had a nice partnership going with Riley [Rossouw], [but] I got out and after that there were no partnerships and we just lost our way. Like I said, 30 or 40 runs more would have been a very competitive total, probably a winning score.”
Despite the defeat, de Villiers was happy with the team’s assessment of the conditions in Providence.
“The positive out of that is that our assessment [of the pitch] was good. Unfortunately the execution wasn’t spot on in the last 10 overs with the bat in hand. We knew that it would be a turning track, very slow. That’s why we played the extra spinner. Our [team] balance was the same as that of the West Indies team. So we got all of that right.”
De Villiers was also full of praise for his spin duo and for the bowling effort as a whole. Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso took 5 for 81 in 20 overs between them as South Africa fought hard to defend a low total.
“I thought Imran Tahir and [Aaron] Phangiso had a great partnership going there, so I was proud of the way they performed. Unfortunately, one or two just went over the boundary. That could have changed the game a little bit, but those are the small margins of this beautiful game we play.
“There’s nothing more the bowlers could have done. Maybe one or two half-chances could have gone our way, but, as I said, it is with the bat in hand that we cost ourselves tonight.”