Proteas captain AB de Villiers admitted that his team’s batting let them down, leading to the four-wicket loss to the West Indies in the Tri-Nation opener.
Sunil Narine took 6-27 as South Africa crashed to 188 all out after starting with a 52-run opening stand and rebuilding to 160-3 after the 36th over. But the fall of Rilee Rossouw, for 61, sparked a collapse in which South Africa lost 7 for 28, five of them to Narine.
‘We lost our way a bit in the last 10 overs with bat in hand,’ said De Villliers. ‘We ended up 30 to 40 runs short of what would have been a winning total. We had some nice partnerships going, but after I got out, we couldn’t really get it back. It was a slow wicket and they bowled really well in the conditions, using a lot of slow balls. Our assessment of the conditions was spot-on; it’s just our execution that let us down.’
But the outstanding positive, he said, was the bowling performance. ‘The bowlers could not have done more,’ he said. ‘Pollard played really well [scoring an unbeaten 67], but our spinners dominated most of the other batsmen. A couple of shots unfortunately went over the ropes and that could have changed the game, and perhaps a couple of half-chances could have gone our way, But I can’t fault their performance.’
There is a a long way to go in the series as they prepare to play Australia on Tuesday, but now is not the time to change their approach, added De Villiers.
‘This is not the time to think about playing more aggressively, trying to get a bonus point or anything like that; we just want to win a game of cricket. We will assess the conditions and play as best we can.’