South Africa aiming to finish ODI series against Sri Lanka on a high: AB de Villiers

South Africa are trailing 1-3 in the five-match series © AFP

Johannesburg: Jul 29, 2013

The series may be out of their grasp but South African skipper AB de Villiers feels there is still a lot to gain from the dead-rubber fifth ODI against Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Wednesday.

South Africa are trailing 1-3 in the five-match series, having suffered an eight-wicket defeat in the fourth ODI at Pallekele yesterday.

“There is a lot to gain from the last game. We have only won one ODI here before; we would like to make that two by finishing on a high,” de Villiers said in a statement issued by Cricket South Africa (CSA).

“We are getting more experience of how to play in these conditions, especially the younger players. That will be vital for tours in the future. We would still like to get hundreds and some good partnerships with the bat in hand,” he stressed.

“The bowlers have been playing good cricket and we just haven’t supported them well enough, there is an opportunity for us to show what we are capable of with the bat.”

He further said, “Every match that you play for South Africa is an important one, regardless of the state of the series.

“Every player in the squad takes pride in his performance and they will no doubt want to finish the tour successfully.”

Hashim Amla, who returned after missing the first three ODI’s and scored 77 off 71 balls, said he was happy to be back.

Amla’s absence left a gap in the Proteas’ top order, which is yet to fire collectively in this series.

“I’m certainly happy to be back in the team, especially spending some time in the middle. The first few days were quite tough, there was obviously a bit of pain here and there, but I have enjoyed getting back out there. Even though I made a small contribution, it was disappointing that it wasn’t for a winning cause,” Amla said.

The Proteas travelled to Colombo today, where they will begin preparations for the final ODI.

T20 squad members David Wiese, Imran Tahir, Wayne Parnell and Henry Davids arrived in Colombo today for the series which starts on Friday.

“It’s always nice to get a bit of new energy in the team, especially at this time of the tour when it starts to get a bit long,” de Villiers said.

“I’m looking forward to playing some good cricket in this last leg of the tour.”

This will be South Africa’s last match before the trip to the UAE in November to play Pakistan.