Sunday December 03, 2023

I could not have asked for more: Du Plessis

June 21, 2019

BIRMINGHAM: Faf du Plessis claims he couldn’t have asked for any more from his South Africa side after they slipped to a narrow defeat against New Zealand.

South Africa went down by four wickets, with just three balls remaining, at Edgbaston to suffer a fourth defeat and significantly reduce their chances of reaching the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup semi-finals.

Despite being extremely disappointed with the outcome of the match, Du Plessis recognised that his men did as much as they could against a team they haven’t beaten at a World Cup for 20 years.

“It’s tough. You can feel it in the dressing room — the guys are hurting,” said the skipper. “We left everything out there. That’s all I can ask for as a captain.

“We’ve just not been as good as the opposition we’ve played against.”

And none of South Africa’s batsmen were able to emulate Kane Williamson, whose unbeaten century anchored New Zealand’s successful chase of 242 and particularly impressed Du Plessis.

“Kane played a great knock. It’s probably the difference between the two sides, just one guy taking it through,” he added.

“I thought it was a really good knock, showing how to put innings together on a pitch that you need to decide when to push and when to hold back, and he picked his battles.

“He targeted a few overs in the game, and the rest he just ticked it off. So really good from him.”

Williamson did not win the match alone and had the support of Colin de Grandhomme who scored 60 off 47 balls and shared in a 91-run sixth-wicket stand.