De Villiers: We gave the game away

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Captain AB de Villiers conceded the loss of two key wickets in the 39th and 44th over led to South Africa's demise in Wednesday's second ODI at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth.

Captain AB de Villiers conceded the loss of two key wickets in the 39th and 44th over led to South Africa's demise in Wednesday's second ODI at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth.

Pakistan won the rain-affected fixture by one run, taking an unassailable two-nil lead in the three-match series on the back of opener Ahmed Shehzad's century and five crucial wickets shared by seamer Junaid Khan and leg-spinner Shahid Afridi.

Chasing a staunch 263-run target in 45 overs, the Proteas were in a strong position, as de Villiers orchestrated a cavalier 74 and Amla garnered a commanding 98. The pair, however, departed in quick succession – and the remaining batsmen were unable to capitalise on the foundation.

"It was close but not across the line. A couple of runs there would have stopped you from asking a lot of good questions. It is just not good enough, we lost the series and I am disappointed. The most disappointing thing was when we had the game in the pocket when I was out there with Hashim," said de Villiers.

"We got out when we shouldn't have and gave the game away. We lost momentum. We had the game in the pocket. When you have the game done and dusted, don't give the game to the opposition, especially one as world-class as this."

De Villiers, too, lamented a substandard day in the field. While fast bowler Dale Steyn romped to career-best figures of six for 39, complementary support from the remainder of the attack was severely lacking. The outfielders, meanwhile, were collectively below par.

"Not a lot pleased me in the first half. I thought we were not disciplined with the ball and our ground fielding. We haven't shown our ground fielding skills so far this series, which is worrying and we have to work on that. After losing the series there are a lot of questions to be asked," he concluded.

The third and final ODI will get underway in Centurion on Saturday, after which the Proteas will prepare for India's arrival and the Pakistanis will tour Sri Lanka.

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