South Africa will take confidence from winning a game they shouldn’t have, said captain Faf du Plessis after their three-wicket win in the first T20I against England on Friday.
The Proteas won in a thrilling final over in which the home side scored the 15 runs they needed to win the game.
Reece Topley fumbled a throw-in from the boundary which allowed Chris Morris and Kyle Abbott to run two from the last ball of the 20th over.
While Du Plessis said before the game that results in this series were not that important, it does help the team’s confidence and helps them to inflict some mental scars on England who, they face in their first World T20 match in India next month.
‘Successful teams get over the line, even though at times they shouldn’t,’ Du Plessis said at his post-match press conference.
‘Definitely we take a lot of confidence from that. We didn’t play the perfect game, but to still get across the line is a huge credit to us.’
Other than the final few overs, the match wasn’t very exciting with both teams producing poor batting performances overall. Yet Du Plessis said he wasn’t concerned about how his team’s chase went.
‘We sat down at half way and we tried to learn from the England batting. We found that, for that surface tried, they possible tried to go too hard, and by doing that they offered us a lot of chances,’ he said.
‘We knew, if we could have wickets in hand in the last four to five overs we’ve got a very destructive batting line-up. That was always the plan. When I got out in the 16th over that was possibly just a little speed bump. Myself and JP [Duminy] were going really nicely there so one of us should have batted through. And that’s where we let them back into the game.
‘Morry [Chris Morris] got a nice knock again [17 off seven] and got us across the line when we shouldn’t have. England should have won that game.’
Imran Tahir was the star performer for South Africa on the night, equalling his best figures in T20Is by taking 4-21 in his four overs.
‘His control was great.’ Du Plessis said. ‘He was exceptional, spun the ball both ways. He’s a fantastic bowler for us in T20 cricket. He has been for about the last two years now and he wins games of cricket on his own. As a captain it’s a huge weapon to have. Even though they had a great start I knew on that surface Immy was going to be a handful.
‘Mentally it’s a big step in the right direction for us. We want to give England some mental scars because we face them again in the first game of the World T20. I don’t think both teams played their best. There were a lot of mistakes made, tactically both teams made a few errors.’