• I can’t fault the game we played – Faf

    Proteas captain Faf du Plessis cast a dejected figure at the post-match media conference after his side went down by four wickets in the final over against New Zealand in Edgbaston, writes DANIEL GALLAN in London.

    The result effectively ends his side’s World Cup campaign.

    His opposite number, Kane Williamson, was superb in hitting an unbeaten 106 that made light work of the sub-standard target of 242 set by South Africa. However, Du Plessis was philosophical in defeat.

    ‘I can’t fault the game we played today,’ the captain said. ‘If you put everything out there and the better team beats you, then life goes on. I don’t hide the fact that I’m disappointed. Cricket means a lot to me and the performance of the team means a lot to me.’

    Du Plessis praised his bowlers for keeping the game tight after his batsmen left, in his estimate, 20 runs on the field. ‘We felt we were under just a little bit,’ he said.

    Several batters got starts, including Du Plessis who scored 23 off 35 balls. But once again a failure to kick on cost his team.

    ‘We need guys to stand up and put [in] performances that will win you games. You need someone to go further and we haven’t had that. It’s just pure numbers on the board.’

    This contrasts with other teams such as India, England and Australia who have had regular centurions in their matches. Williamson carried the Black Caps to victory and Du Plessis praised the Kiwi skipper.

    Though South Africa are not mathematically out of the running for a semi-final spot, Du Plessis conceded that this latest defeat likely signals the end of the road.

    ‘You can feel in the dressing room the guys are hurting. I’m feeling five years older. We left everything out there and that’s all I ask as captain. The guys fought. They showed that.

    ‘Unfortunately we’ve not been as good as the opposition. That’s a skill thing, that’s not a hunger thing. I can’t fault the team for that.’

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    Wade Pretorius