Amla: It's sweeter to win under pressure

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South Africa's stand-in skipper for the tri-series game against Zimbabwe, Hashim Amla, was pleased with the way the players fought back from a poor batting effort to still win the game by 61 runs in Harare.

South Africa's stand-in skipper for the tri-series game against Zimbabwe, Hashim Amla, was pleased with the way the players fought back from a poor batting effort to still win the game by 61 runs in Harare.

Zim spinner Prosper Utseya took five wickets, including a hat-trick, as the Proteas crumbled to 190 for eight after an opening stand of 142. They managed to make 231 all out thanks to their last two batsmen, who put on 36.

With the room to breathe, Amla joked about his previous captaincy stint in Zimbabwe, where the Proteas lost in the unofficial T20 final: "Why would you bring that up now?"

He then added more seriously: "I did think about it, and somebody mentioned it to me last night, but it's a bit of a different team and it's a fifty-over game so I had full confidence that 230 was defendable, even though we were missing two star players in AB and Morne.

"It's a good performance and I think it's always sweeter when you win after being under a bit of pressure. We were 50 or 60 runs short, but with these sort of totals you have to make it defendable. And we made it defendable.

"It's really disappointing but blowouts like that do happen in the game, although usually what happens is you have your blowout and you lose the game. We've had our blowout and we've won the game so hopefully that's us done for the series as far as batting errors go.

"Prosper bowled well so credit to him. Coming to the next game I guess there are a few guys in our team who are due runs, so it's a good space to be in that respect."

He added that the pressure the score put them under actually helped them in the field, saying: "Had we scored 300 or 350 and won the game, the intensity in the field wouldn't have been as good as we normally have.

"So having 230 on the board kept everyone in the game so that's the pleasing aspect – that we were in the game until they lost the ninth wicket. Because a few big hits here or there, 60 runs is not a big margin to win by.

"So in the context of the game, we take a lot of confidence from that."

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