De Villiers: Du Plessis has proved a lot of people wrong

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Captain AB de Villiers expressed delight in the outstanding performance of batsman Faf du Plessis, as South Africa secured a convincing seven-wicket triumph over Australia in Wednesday's tri-series ODI at the Harare Sports Club.

Captain AB de Villiers expressed delight in the outstanding performance of batsman Faf du Plessis, as South Africa secured a convincing seven-wicket triumph over Australia in Wednesday's tri-series ODI at the Harare Sports Club.

The Aussies romped to a formidable total of 327 for seven on the back of a superb ton from opener Aaron Finch and complementary half-centuries from captain George Bailey and the recalled Phil Hughes.

The tally proved insufficient, though, as de Villiers' 136 not out and du Plessis' brisk 106 ensured victory with 20 deliveries to spare. The pair were clinical during a great 206-run alliance for the third wicket, which spanned a full 29 overs.

"I am extremely proud and happy for Faf. He has been under pressure from a lot of people in the ODI format, so for him to score this century was big. We have always had a lot of belief in him as a player and he has been our rock for the last while," enthused de Villiers.

"He is playing unbelievable cricket at the moment and I am really happy for him. He has proved a lot of people wrong. I know he doesn't play the game for that reason, but he is in great form and hopefully he can maintain that."

The 30-year-old de Villiers acknowledged the importance of the momentum gained ahead of Friday's fixture against Zimbabwe at the same venue – and suggested the Proteas might bowl first again if victorious at the toss.

"It is great confidence for us moving forward. We have not chased very well in the past and for us to cross the line like that means a lot to all of us. It is a great boost of confidence for all of us," he added.

"There is no doubt that we have what it takes. We are a long way away from the finished product, but we are moving in the right direction. It is important for us to stay in the now, we have a big game coming up against Zimbabwe in two days, so our focus is on that."

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