Proteas batsman Faf du Plessis, held his hand up and said: ‘I messed up’.
“I felt really good batting,” he said of his innings of 68. But it was a ‘lack of concentration’ which saw him charge down the wicket at left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn and get stumped well out of his crease. A century was on the cards. ‘I should have at least been 80 or 90 at the end of play,’ he said.
‘I moved well and hit the ball nice and late. I did the hard yards in my role at No 3, which is to be solid as possible for the team. I did that, which was good for me, but it’s disappointing not to go through,’ he said.
Now the Proteas will be banking on another game-changing Hashim Amla (55) and AB de Villiers (32) partnership to help gain the advantage in the third Sunfoil Test match against the West Indies at Newlands.
‘We are in a really good position at 227 for three,’ Du Plessis added. ‘The base of scoring big runs is there. The way that we normally bat you would hope that we get a big score. The morning session will be a challenge for us; the ball does nip around in the morning. If we get through the first hour unscathed this team will have their eyes set on a big enough total.’
Du Plessis says the bowlers adapted to the unusually slower and drier conditions for a first day at Newlands, and praised their efforts in wrapping up the West Indies’ within the first hour this morning.
‘The last two or three Test series that we have played at Newlands there have been green-tops on day one which made it tough for the batsmen,’ he explained. ‘They (bowlers) were expecting something along those conditions. We have played well on green pitches; our bowling attack is dangerous and as a batting unit we have also learnt how to deal with that.
‘That’s Test cricket, you have to play under different conditions and you have to do well in them. I think they have accepted that after a lot not happening on day one, they responded brilliantly to come back and roll them over.’