Proteas sit pretty in commanding position

2014-08-11 21:41

Proteas batsman Faf du Plessis said his team was in an ideal position after day three of the one-off Test against Zimbabwe in Harare.

“I think we played it perfectly. The lead that we have is good,” said Du Plessis today.

“If we bowl well we can come back on day five and knock off a few runs.”

South Africa made 397 in its first innings and led Zimbabwe by 113 at the end of play.

The Zimbabweans were 28-1 in their second innings after posting 256 in the first.

Du Plessis, who scored 98 runs in the first innings, said the rigorous nature of the match against their neighbours meant that they would have to grind out a result.

“It doesn’t always have to look pretty. This game is one of those specific situations where you do the work and hard yards,” he said after batting for nearly six hours.

With the match tilted in favour of the visitors, Du Plessis was confident of a positive outcome despite the deteriorating wicket.

“People may not see it as flashy and we may not look like the number-one ranked team but we know that is what we need to do.”

In the first innings the Proteas scored at a rate of 2.5 runs an over – a result which was determined by the adverse conditions and defensive bowling from the home team he said.

“It was important for us to make sure we got close to 400, and the only way that we could do that was by spending time out in the middle.

“I spent quite a lot of time at the crease and found it very tough, especially with their seam bowlers who bowled at 120km per hour on a slow wicket with ring fields, that made it tough to score.”

Du Plessis was fast earning a reputation as the Proteas’ go-to man in tough situations, as he has shown great temperament and grit over the last two years.

“I’m getting used to occupying the crease. It was quite frustrating to be honest. They bowled well, they know their conditions and for us it was important to score off their spinners.”

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