Proteas savour emphatic win

AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis (AFP)
AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis (AFP)
Harare - The Proteas’ near perfect run-chase in the Triangular Series One-Day International (ODI) match against Australia at the Harare Sports Club on Wednesday will leave a sweet taste of satisfaction for the squad.

As it happened: Proteas v Australia

Proteas captain, AB de Villiers, led from the front with his 18th ODI century, and believes the squad is slowly starting to build solid momentum in the 50-over format.

"It’s great confidence for us moving forward," De Villiers said of the win.

"We haven’t chased very well in the past and for us to cross the line like that means a lot to all of us.

"It’s a great boost of confidence for all of us.

"There is no doubt that we have what it takes," he said of his team’s World Cup prospects.

"We are a long way away from the finished product but we are moving in the right direction.

"It’s important for us to stay in the now; we have a big game coming up against Zimbabwe in two days so our focus is on that."

Faf du Plessis ended his ODI hundred drought after 50 International matches, and has been reliable and effective in his new role at number three.

"I’m extremely proud and happy for him," De Villiers said of Du Plessis’ maiden ODI hundred.

"He has been under pressure from a lot of people in the ODI format so for him to score the hundred today was big.

"We have always had a lot of belief in him as a player and he has been our rock for the last while. He is playing unbelievable cricket at the moment and I’m really happy for him.

"He has proved a lot of people wrong - I know he doesn’t play the game for that reason- but he is in great form and hopefully he can maintain that."

De Villiers admitted that he was surprised by the omission of Australia’s frontline spinner, Nathan Lyon, and explained his decision to bowl first in favourable batting conditions.

"Our reason to bowl first was not to practise chasing," De Villiers explained.

"When you play Australia you play to win a game of cricket.

"I felt that we had our best chance bowling first and thought that there would be a bit of moisture in the first 10 overs.

"If I look back now I probably would have batted first," he quipped.

"I’m still very happy with the victory, it was a great chase and a great team effort."
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