Captain Faf du Plessis appreciated a close finish, as South Africa triumphed over Sri Lanka in Tuesday’s first T20I against Sri Lanka at Newlands in Cape Town.
Sri Lanka posted 134 for seven, after which the Proteas moved to 118 for three – but were later limited to 134 for eight.
With the contest tied after 40 overs, a one-over eliminator decided the ultimate result. Batsman David Miller and leg-spinner Imran Tahir played starring roles in the super over.
‘That was great fun – the series needed a bit of a tight finish. Both teams were under pressure to see how they would respond. We didn’t do well with the bat in the last five or six overs, but getting that chance in the end in the super over was good for us,’ said Du Plessis.
The hosts’ skipper praised both all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, who took three important wickets, and Miller, who was the designated wicketkeeper for the first time in a lengthy international career.
‘Big risks can pay off too, I suppose. We back David with the gloves and we are working with him behind the scenes. We need to explore our options as a squad, and him as wicketkeeper is one of them. He had a near perfect day behind the stumps,’ added Du Plessis.
‘Andile is getting a bit of a reputation as someone who plays big moments well. It didn’t come off for him with the bat here, but he bowled well and it’s the bravery that comes with it. We need to give him these opportunities and he is growing well.’
Du Plessis will be rested for the remainder of the series. Batsman JP Duminy will captain the XI in his absence. The second and third T20I will be played at SuperSport Park in Centurion and the Wanderers in Johannesburg respectively, later this week.
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