Faf Du Plessis made 63 off 76 balls © Getty Images
Faf Du Plessis made 63 off 76 balls © Getty Images

After South Africa‘s heartbreaking loss to Australia in the 4th match of the tri-series being played in West Indies, Faf du Plessis felt that it was impossible to lose the game, keeping in mind the control that his team was in. The right-hander who put on a important partnership with Hashim Amla and then with AB de Villiers felt that, his side gave it away to the Australians. In spite of Du Plessis contributing with 63 runs and Amla scoring 60, giving South Africa a firm grip on the chase, Australia managed to grab a 36-run win. From 177-3 in 31.1 overs, SA collapsed to 252 all out. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia  vs  South Africa , 4th ODI Match

A disappointed Du Plessis at the post-match press conference said – “To be 100 per cent honest with you, I thought when myself and AB were batting we were in complete control of the game and it felt like it was very close to impossible to lose. We obviously understood the conditions but we felt in control. Obviously the wicket of myself gave them a little bit of a sniff, but even with JP and AB chasing the runs we were still very much in control.”  ALSO READ: Australia bounce back to beat South Africa by 36 runs in Match 4 of Tri-Nations Series 2016

He added – “Then it was just a case of few of us giving wickets to the Australian team, soft wickets and obviously Mitchell Starc (bowling) to tailenders is pretty good, so you can’t afford to give him a sniff with the tail-enders batting. “Between overs 30 and 40 was where we lost the game.”

South Africa were cruising towards the 289-run target set up by Australia, thanks to vice-captain David Warner’s 109. But Adam Zampa’s re-introduction into the bowling attack along with Mitchell Starc from the other end, started the tun around. Du Plessis said the mood changed drastically in the dressing room. ALSO READ: Tri-Nation series 2016:David Warner hopeful of being fit before West Indies clash

“It’s terrible. You can almost see the script and where it’s going,” Du Plessis said. “When JP and AB was batting, we still felt like we were cruising. But we understand that we’ve got a pretty long tail so we understand that if it goes that way, especially with the ball tailing a little bit, it’s going to be tough for the tail-enders. It’s not great because you can see it happening. From a position of strength we were in, we lost that game,” Du Plessis said.

He further said – “We were brilliant for 35 overs and then lost it in five overs. Against a team the quality of Australia, you can’t afford to have a period in the game where you lose concentration and that’s what happened today. We almost just handed it over to them.”

When asked if the team are worrying about their batting line-up, Du Plessis reassured faith in the side’s batting potential saying – “By no means do I feel whatsoever that there are red flags with our batting unit”. Our batting unit has been extremely strong the past few years. The strength of our team is our batting capabilities. And we’ve also not relied on AB that much, we’ve gone through series where Hashim hasn’t scored runs and other guys do their thing.”

Du Plessis added – “I think that five has been the backbone of the South African one-day team in terms of scoring runs. “So I don’t think they feel the pressure of if they don’t score runs, we’re going to lose.”

South Africa will now play West Indies in their next match of the tri-series.