South Africa v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Cape Town November 24, 2013

'Last 15 overs cost us badly' - de Villiers

ESPNcricinfo staff

A backward step - de Villiers

AB de Villiers, the South Africa captain, said that his side's bowling during the last 15 overs of Pakistan's innings, compounded by poor batting, was a key factor in their 23-run loss in the first ODI at Newlands.

Pakistan were struggling at 131 for 7 in the 36th over before a 74-run, eighth-wicket stand between debutants Bilawal Bhatti and Anwar Ali helped them post a challenging score. The pair had a few big overs in their stand, which lasted almost 12 overs, and South Africa conceded 93 in the last 15. Although de Villiers said the pitch was slow in the second innings, he thought the conditions were similar to what the team had faced in their recent series against Pakistan in the UAE, which South Africa won 4-1.

"I was confident going into the game. I thought we had been playing some good cricket. And today was unfortunately one step backwards again," de Villiers said. "We just weren't good enough with the bat in hand and we leaked a few runs towards the end, in the last 10-15 overs.

"It was disappointing getting them seven down and not following through. The urgency wasn't really in the field in the last 10-15 overs. There were no partnerships with the bat and the last 15 overs cost us badly."

Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, praised Anwar and Bhatti and said their performance was a good sign for a side that lacked depth in the batting order.

"Anwar Ali and Bilawal Bhatti took the responsibility right in their first games," Misbah said. "When the team needed, they delivered with the bat, under pressure and then they also bowled well, that's a good sign for Pakistan.

"The fact that we were not getting anything from No. 8 and No. 9 batsmen was what the side was missing over the last couple of years. They are good fielders and smart bowlers, and the way they batted today was a really good sign for us."

Misbah also said the victory in Cape Town could give Pakistan the impetus they need to record their first bilateral series win over South Africa.

"Everybody knows we haven't won an ODI series against South Africa, so it's really important for us and we will just try to put our 100%," Misbah said. "We have two games and, in the next game, if we can just put in our best efforts and improve our batting performance a little bit, we have a good chance."

De Villiers said he was confident his team would show more hunger in the last two ODIs. "I am not going to get too negative. I look at the squad and I see a lot of really good players. I am not going to panic," de Villiers said. "There are two big games coming up for us in Port Elizabeth and Centurion and we need to fix things right away. We are going to go out there and play with a bit more hunger."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Raheel on November 27, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    Surprisingly no talks about Tabish Khan, nor selectors neither experts. I have seen his profile he has a pretty good first class record. I have seen, today, his name in papular search along with Kholi & Sachin, thats good. Gopod Luck for him.

  • Muhammad on November 26, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    South Africa has problems in bowling in death overs and it was evident in that game. Sohail Tanvir and Wahab Riaz showed that in third ODI in UAE too. Wahab Riaz showed that in Johannesburg earlier this year too where he scored 40 odd runs. If they don't overcome this problem, bits and pieces players like Anwar Ali will get chances to score runs.

  • Dummy4 on November 26, 2013, 5:22 GMT

    To misbah haters , i have only one word , if you think he is the liability then you do not have any cricketing sense .... he provides the stability factor to the team and i believe the stats support my argument .... he may not be a very good captain/leader but then again with WC 2015 in sight , he is the most calm and coolest character in Pakistan team and currently the best choice for 2015 WC!!.

    The major problem with the current squad is that they do not have consistency else i believe this squad has a combination of youth and experience. Their is no lacking of talent in Pak , we only need to polish them by giving a fair run and i am very happy that the mgmt has given Nasir a good run and now they can think of dropping him after this tour if he still does not perform and give other a chance !!

    However i do feel that misbah is a bit short sighted in above remarks as the top/middle order needs to take responsibility iso of relying on Bilalwal and Anwar on.

  • Nasser on November 25, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    Misbah has no common sense, and is not challenged properly by the Pakistan media, as none of them do any research work into recent statistics and recent statements by the various players. Misbah blames lack of batting skills of tailenders when it is the batsmen themselves who are continously failing. And there is no point in having a bowler who can bat a bit if he is not taking wickets or at least drying out runs. Finally, even after losing this match, SA have won 4, and lost 2 ODIs v Pakistan recently. This latest loss has been described as a "backward step" by their captain. On the other hand, Misbah, after having lost 6 continous international games, states that " winning and losing is part of the game". His whole persona is VERY NEGATIVE.

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    This is what youngster do when given chances.Pcb should realise this and should give chances to Hammed Azam, Sharjeel Khan and plc give SAMI ASLAM and TALAT HUSSAIN.common Sohaib Maksood is batting well at no 3 so why change is position, Haffez is by no means at no 3 batsman.Umer Akmal is good at no 4 wehave seen that is 2nd T20 .He likes to play his shot and he his more dangerous a when he plays freely .plz start building up team for the world cup and get rit of excess baggage like Sohail tanvir, Asad Shafique , Umer Amin , Abdul Rehman from the squad so new young talented players can get a chance.Haffez and Africa should bat below Bilawal and Anwar Ali.

  • Android on November 25, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    I dont like what misbah said about lower order not performing. I hardly see top or middle order performing

  • Android on November 25, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    well done boys.misbah & hafeez should take retirement.

  • Pranto on November 25, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    Pakistan should win this to see ind against this sa side

  • Android on November 25, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    with a weak batting unit like pakistan, they need depth in batting. and these2 are there as allrounders and make batting til no 9. i would rate bhatti more better than anwar, because bhatti has more pace and he was more calm while batting. anwar need to work on his bowling. but never the less both played well and will be able to serve pak well.

    had irfan been fit or malik or razak there, both might have been sitting out.

    when youngsters continously out perform seniors then there is definately few things to consider. in UAE ahmed scored almost double than others apart from misbah. maqsood scored 2 fifties in 2 then these 2 guys. so it shows that old and tried horses are nit enough to win race .

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