Faf praises Proteas’ heart and character

2013-08-06 00:00

PROTEAS T20 captain Faf du Plessis has praised the character and determination shown by his team after securing a series-winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series against Sri Lanka on Sunday.

This is the Proteas first limited overs series win in Sri Lanka and Du Plessis is hoping for a clean sweep when the sides lock horns for the final time today in Hambantota.

After being outplayed 4-1 in the one-day series, Du Plessis could not hide his relief with success in the T20 format of the game.

“To come back like we did shows huge character and heart. It shows how badly the team wanted to win and I am proud of how the guys have performed in the series,” he said.

Du Plessis highlighted that clear plans and execution from the bowlers had been the key area of improvement, unlike in the ODI matches where the Proteas were left wanting and looking aimless at times.

“Our death bowling in the last two games has been brilliant and we have been effective up front as well, taking wickets when it counted,” said Du Plessis.

“I am more than pleased with the contribution from the bowlers.”

With the series win secured, Du Plessis hinted the Proteas could try some new combinations in today’s game, although many observers will be hoping a winning formula is not disrupted.

“We are only eight games away from next year’s ICC [International Cricket Council] World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. We know what the current combinations are capable of and we want to give players who have not had game time an opportunity in the middle,” he said.

“Playing in these conditions is also vital experience for what lies ahead. Having won the series, we can afford a few tweaks ahead of today’s final clash.”

Although boosted by winning the series, Du Plessis and his men have not taken things for granted.

“We had a practice session yesterday afternoon and we know there is always room for improvement,” he said.

“We are not firing on all cylinders and can lift our performances in all areas — batting, fielding and bowling — as we head into this match.”

This is the final match in what has been a testing tour for the Proteas in the shorter format of the game. They will no doubt go into this game with the strongest team possible, aiming to finish the tour on a positive note.

On returning home, the Proteas look ahead to facing Pakistan in October and November, playing in two Tests, five one-dayers and two T20 matches in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

• Today’s match starts at 3.30 pm. It will be televised on SuperSport2 and SuperSport HD2.


Faf du Plessis (captain), Farhaan Behardien, Henry Davids, Quinton De Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and David Wiese.

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