Proteas deliver improved performance

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Proteas skipper AB de Villiers was delighted with his teams improved performance in difficult conditions at the Westpac stadium in Wellington.

The drop-in pitch at what is usually a rugby stadium wasn’t the easiest surface to bat on but South Africa’s most skilled batsman and skipper came to the fore.

He played a captain’s knock of 85 as he rallied the lower order around him and lasted until the penultimate over.

Speaking after the match De Villiers was pleased with how the team took on board what had been said after the loss in the second game at Christchurch.

De Villiers said at the post match presentation: “It was a great team performances, it was what we emphasised on.

“I didn’t feel that presence in the last games but we did this time. Don’t know how we got to 270, but we did and we won. Not a big fan of setting totals beforehand.

“You can always assess later. You can overshoot, you might get less. It’s difficult to judge. I just knew we had to bat through and then get runs late.”

The South African bowlers made the surface look a little more hostile and the wickets were shared around amongst the seamers as they dismantled New Zealand bowling them out for 112.

De Villiers said of his seamers: “They were good. We had a nice discussion before we out. Du Plessis, Quinton, Hash, they gave the bowlers what a good length on this pitch is.”

The fielding showed a vast improvement as well something De Villiers stressed.

He added: “I just asked a lot of energy and I felt the inner ring was really difficult to pierce and we saved a lot of ones there. I didn’t expect it to do that much, I felt it was a really difficult wicket to play on, I never felt in.

“A guy like de Grandhomme moved it all over the place, which helped us because we had two bowlers who could do the same. I don’t think it did more in the second innings, we just did well, we caught our catches and we created more chances.”

De Villiers said of his own innings: “Always very nervous, always fear getting out. it’s just human. We started losing a few wickets, and I thought we were looking at 160-180 here, which wouldn’t have been enough. But over the years I’ve learnt to counter that. ”

“It comes through experience, learning from mistakes and a deep deep hunger to succeed. There’s nothing like contributing to the team, making hundreds, and seeing the smiles on my team-mates’ faces. Love captaincy.

“I have a good gut feel of what might happen in 10 overs time, that’s something I think McCullum was good at. I wont get it right all the time”