ICC World Cup: SA captain De Villiers regrets missing easy chances

Auckland: South African skipper AB de Villiers on Tuesday rued the missed chances that eventually cost his side the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand at the Eden Park.

AB de Villiers. Pic/AFP
AB de Villiers. Pic/AFP 

South Africa lost a rain-affected match by four wickets by the Duckworth-Lewis method in the penultimate ball of the contest at the Eden Park here.

South Africa set New Zealand a daunting target of 298 runs in 43 overs and were well placed to win the match but they squandered several opportunities to surrender the contest.

De Villiers himself was guilty of missing a routine run-out as he failed to get rid of all-rounder Corey Anderson, who was batting on 33 then. He went on to score a crucial knock of 58 runs off 57 balls.

Asked about the incident in the post-match media conference, De Villiers said: "That's one of the moments. We had a few chances to win the game tonight. It's not the only chance. Tried my best to catch and I didn't."

"Life moves on. I didn't take that and unfortunately, we had our chance again after that. But, yes, if you want to see it that way, that I cost us, then I'll gladly take it."

Man-of-the-Match Grant Elliot who guided the Kiwis to their maiden Cup final with a responsible knock of 84 runs was also given a "life" in the 42nd over.

Farhaan Behardien grassed a skier after being distracted from his task by an onrushing teammate Jean Paul Duminy from fine leg.

De Villiers added they had their chances to seal the game but he felt it just was not good enough.

"We had our chance. We had opportunities to adjust and we did and I felt it was enough. The chances we had in the second inning showed that we -- it was enough. It could have been enough," he said.

"We always talk about expecting the unexpected, and the unexpected happened today, and we adjusted as well as we could, and it wasn't good enough at the end."

Asked what his message for pacer Dale Steyn was, who could not defend 12 runs of the last over, the 31-year-old said: "We were discussing every single ball, yorker, slow ball, hard length. We were trying everything and it left us walking across the wicket trying to use the pace."

"Normally when a player does that, he's trying for you to go for a yorker. He wants you to go for a yorker so he can use the pace down to the boundary. We decided to go length, hoping that he'll play and miss it, and he played one of the best shots of his life. Probably the best," he said.

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