De Villiers: We're not playing negative cricket

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Batsman AB de Villiers has insisted South Africa won't necessarily target a draw, come day five of the second and final Test against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo on Sunday.

Batsman AB de Villiers has insisted South Africa won't necessarily target a draw, come day five of the second and final Test against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo.

Sri Lanka's second innings total of 229 for eight, built on the back of commanding half-centuries from captain Angelo Mathews and former skipper Kumar Sangakkara, ensured a staunch 369-run target for the tourists.

The Proteas have since slipped to 38 for one, losing Alviro Petersen to spinner Rangana Herath during the closing hour of Sunday. The right-hander was caught by silly point fielder Kithuruwan Vithanage for a duck.

The left-handed Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock, who was pushed up the order ahead of the in-form Faf du Plessis, captain Hashim Amla, de Villiers and all-rounder JP Duminy, will resume on 13 not out and 21 not out respectively on Monday.

"We are not playing negative cricket, we will assess the situation in the morning and if we have wickets, then we will go for a win," said de Villiers. "We are very positive that we can pull this off. It means everything to us to win this series in Sri Lanka, so we will do our best to make it happen."

"If I am coming in after tea and we need six or seven an over I might give it a go. After tea, if we have wickets in hands that possibility will be there. You've got to find the balance between being positive and defensive. If we've got a sniff at tea-time tomorrow, we might have a go."

The visitors won the first Test in convincing fashion at the Galle International Stadium last week and only need a draw in Colombo to achieve a rare series win in Sri Lanka – and return to the helm of the International Cricket Council's rankings ahead of Australia.

"It will mean everything to us. It's what we want to be about. We don't want to be winning and losing. We want to be consistent. We would hate to lose. We're going to come here positive," concluded de Villiers.

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