• Faf: It sounds easy making excuses now

    Captain Faf du Plessis conceded defeat was ‘bound to happen’, as South Africa succumbed to Pakistan by eight wickets in Sunday’s fourth ODI at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

    The loss was South Africa’s first in a ‘Pink ODI’ after six victories in as many¬†previous¬†attempts. Their 164 all out in 41 overs wasn’t nearly enough, as the tourists reached this modest target with 111 deliveries to spare.

    ‘It was bound to happen, to lose one in pink. Pakistan bowled well and the conditions were not what they usually are at the Wanderers. But we never had enough runs. It sounds easy making excuses now, but definitely coming to the Wanderers we expected a pitch that would be flat,’ said Du Plessis.

    ‘But there was spin and the ball was stopping as well. You have to adapt to conditions, and it is something we didn’t do. Pakistan are playing really well – you can’t take that away from them for one second.’

    The five-match series is squared after two wins each. Newlands in Cape Town will host the decider on Wednesday.

    ‘We have to find a way where we can strike with wickets and also get ourselves in a position with the bat, where we can put pressure. We were very disappointed in this match. But it was a great day for cancer awareness. We are very happy to do whatever it is as a team and to give away a portion of our match fee for this cause,’ added Du Plessis.

    All-rounder Shoaib Malik captained the Pakistanis in the absence of regular skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, who has been suspended by the International Cricket Council after racially taunting Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo earlier in the series.

    ‘I only knew I was going to be captain when I got to the ground. It’s a great honour to represent your country – as captain or player. You need a bit of luck, of course, to end up on the winning side. But having said that, as professionals, once we hit the ground, our goal is to do well,’ said Malik.

    ‘It’s going to be a great battle in Cape Town between two good teams.’

    Photo: Christiaan Kotze | Getty Images

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