De Villiers can’t fault bowlers

South Africa

Captain AB de Villiers admitted South Africa should have chased a target considerably smaller than 231, after a comfortable six-wicket victory over New Zealand in the first ODI at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

The Proteas reduced the opposition to 68 for five – and later 156 for nine – before the score recovered to 230 all out on the back of a wicketkeeper-batsman Luke Ronchi and tail-ender Trent Boult’s 74-run alliance for the final wicket.

“To get them seven or nine down at the start of the Powerplay, we expected the bowling to get them out. But I am very happy, and can’t really fault the bowlers’ effort with them getting the New Zealanders nine down,” said de Villiers.

“But thinking of the World Cup next year, if we get teams nine wickets down in 35 overs, we need to finish them off. We ultimately played good cricket, though. I’m quite happy with this.”

Man of the Match de Villiers scored a commanding 89 not out off a mere 85 balls, including nine fours, and shared a key, unbroken partnership of 139 inside two dozen overs alongside fellow half-centurion JP Duminy.

“I felt pretty good out there, it was a funny kind of wicket. I did not feel like I was in at any stage, but it forced me to play more conservatively. We got a couple of partnerships together and fighting back from four down to win it, that is a good thing,” he concluded.