London: Sep 13, 2012
The Proteas ended a largely successful tour of England with a 28-run defeat by the reigning World Twenty20 champions in a floodlit fixture at Edgbaston on Wednesday where rain shortened the match to 11 overs per side.
That meant the three-match series was shared at 1-1, with only the Proteas’ seven-wicket win at Chester-le-Street on Saturday, where the teams bowled 39 of a possible 40 overs, going close to the distance.
Set 119 to win on Wednesday, South Africa could only manage 90 for five as a tour which featured a commanding 2-0 Test series win over England and a shared one-day campaign finished on a losing note.
“It certainly wasn’t our best performance…We were pretty much outplayed tonight,” said de Villiers after a defeat that saw England replace South Africa at number one in the international Twenty20 rankings .
“It was disappointing but there are a lot of positives to hang onto throughout this summer. We’ve played some good cricket and it’s not all doom and gloom going to Sri Lanka.”
In Manchester on Monday, South Africa made 77 for five in nine overs in another rain-marred clash before a fresh downpour during England’s reply led to a wash-out with the game five balls short of the five-over mark in the second innings needed to declare a result.
De Villiers, asked what South Africa learnt from the brief encounters, replied: “Quite a lot actually. At this level you have to adapt no matter what situation you find yourself in.
“I hear there is quite a bit of rain around in Sri Lanka at the moment and we might get a few rain delayed games and it might cost you the World Cup (World Twenty20) if you are not prepared for it.
“We have played a couple now, one good, one not so good. We’ve had a taste for it and will be better prepared now.”
He added: “It will probably be quite a lot different in Sri Lanka, but we can probably expect something a bit like tonight’s (Wednesday’s) pitch.
“There was a quite a bit of turn and it was slow, we could get quite a few like that in Sri Lanka.”
Off-spinner Johan Botha, a key member of South Africa’s attack, will head to Sri Lanka on the back of an impressive two wickets for 19 runs on Wednesday, having returned the same figures at Chester-le-Street.
“He’s an experienced campaigner,” said de Villiers. “He’s in good form, and has been for a long time, so it’s nice.”
De Villiers added England, who won the 2010 World Twenty20 in the Caribbean, would be a threat in Sri Lanka but did not discount South Africa’s chances.
“For sure, their bowling line-up has been one of the best in the world for quite a few years now, ” de Villiers said.
“I thought they did really well in the Caribbean, it was probably down to the bowlers that they won there.
“They certainly have a lot of talent, but so do a lot of other teams. I would like to think it will be a great battle and the top four get through to the end. May the best team win.”(AFP)
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