Cape Town - Proteas captain Faf du Plessis believes that his side should have lost Friday night’s T20I against England at Newlands.
Having restricted the visitors to 134 in their 20 overs thanks largely to Imran Tahir’s 4-21, South Africa were heavily favoured at the halfway stage to canter to victory in front of a 19 000-strong Cape Town crowd.
But the run-chase never got going, and regular wickets meant that Chris Morris and Kyle Abbott went into the final over needing 15 for victory.
It may not have been the high-scoring affair that fans mostly want, but the match was laced in drama right up until the final ball when Reece Topley missed a fantastic chance to run out Abbott and send the game to a Super Over.
And while Du Plessis was honest about the fact that it appeared the match had gotten away from the Proteas, he said such results would build confidence ahead of next month’s ICC World Twenty20 in India.
“Successful teams get over the line even though at times they shouldn’t,” Du Plessis said.
“The trophy-winning teams that I’ve been involved in over the years … it becomes a habit when you can win games that the other team looks like they can win.
“We’ll definitely take a lot of confidence from that. We didn’t play the perfect game but to still get a cross the line is a huge credit to us.”
Du Plessis said he was not concerned over how the run-chase unfolded despite none of the top-order putting the game to bed.
“We sat down after halfway and we discussed that we would try and learn from the England batting,” Du Plessis said.
“We found that they possibly, for that surface, tried to go too hard and by doing that they offered us a lot of chances.
“We know with our batting line-up that if we can have wickets in hand in the last four or five overs we’ve got a very destructive line-up, so that was always the plan.
“Myself and JP were going really nicely there … one of us should have batted through and that’s possibly where we let them back into the game.
“But Morry (Morris) got a nice knock again tonight and he got us across the line when we shouldn’t have … England should have won that game.”
The second and final T20I of the series takes place in Johannesburg on Sunday.