Sri Lanka v South Africa, 4th ODI, Pallekele July 28, 2013

Pitch played on our minds - de Villiers

35

Hashim Amla's return to the batting order initially appeared to be the tonic South Africa required to build their first imposing total in the series, but after his departure in the 23rd over, the visitors embarked on a collapse both Amla and AB de Villiers marked as the defining period of the fourth ODI.

Amla's 71-ball 77 had driven a brisk second-wicket stand that had taken South Africa to 110 for 1 after 20 overs, but South Africa succumbed to Sri Lanka's spinners, and managed no more than a mediocre 238. JP Duminy, who partnered Amla during that partnership, made 97, but could not find sustained support from the middle order.

"That period was the most disappointing thing about today," de Villiers said. "Hash (Hashim) set us up really well to go big, but I think the previous wicket played a bit on our minds. The middle order created more turn than there was. I think we were mentally a bit drained and we didn't support JP well enough. It was definitely, at the very least, a 260-score kind of wicket. Maybe 280, with our kind of batting line-up and the foundation we laid."

Amla had progressed with equal ease against Sri Lanka's fast bowlers and spinners, and looked set for a ton before Tillakaratne Dilshan had him lbw with a delivery that turned more than Amla expected. De Villiers departed in Dilshan's next over, and though Duminy managed a 46-run stand with Faf du Plessis, the team lost six wickets for 33 runs, making a competitive score almost impossible. South Africa had also used up their batting Powerplay by the 21st over, hitting the spin of Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath for 24 runs in the five overs.

"When Mendis was on in the Powerplay, everything was going quite smoothly," Amla said. "We were knocking the guys for about four or five an over. Unfortunately, I got out, and I think the momentum broke there. We then built up some momentum when we hit 170, but lost our way there as the wicket became a bit harder to bat on in the late afternoon for the new guys coming in."

Sri Lanka's three spinners bowled 29.4 overs in total and took seven wickets and South Africa's progress had slowed significantly against them in the middle overs, which contributed to the string of quick dismissals.

"I've got to take a bit of responsibility because I got out to Dilshan and the guys coming [in] were a bit more aware of him, trying not to lose their wickets," de Villiers said. "I feel that Dilshan's not a bad bowler, but you can dominate him if you get on top of him, and I was trying to get that going. Unfortunately, I got out playing my first attacking shot, and the rest of the guys following up were a bit circumspect about facing the spinners. Just as we'd get a partnership going, we'd lose another wicket."

De Villiers also said South Africa expected the pitch to become harder to bat on than it did, for the second innings. Both the visiting seam bowlers and spinners found the surface to their liking under lights on Friday, as they comfortably defended 223.The fresh pitch on Sunday appeared much more suited to batting however.

"Towards the later afternoon we were hoping for it to start turning and misbehaving a bit. When we bowled it skidded through and we didn't see the bounce that treated us so well in the previous game."

The match also marked a serious dip in South Africa's fielding standard, after the team produced their most polished performance of the series on Friday. Wayward throws and misfields allowed easy runs throughout the innings, but were particularly prevalent towards the end of the match - albeit after Sri Lanka had begun their final march to victory.

"I'm the kind of guy that likes to keep it professional right throughout the hundred overs, so the fielding was disappointing. In saying that, they were batting without any pressure there so they were always going to take the field on a bit more. The boys still tried their best and it's hard to keep your head in the game when they need to knock off 60 odd runs off 80 balls with eight or nine wickets at hand."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on July 29, 2013, 20:00 GMT

    AB has been bold personality as we have seen in the past. Whatever he said is absolute confession about what was expected to be done on that night. One of the reasons of SA's failure against spin is their mindset. Not only AB but Mathews was having uncertainty with respect to pitch at the toss wanting to bat first. No one was sure about future behavior of the pitch till 75 overs. AB is absolute right on his part to say previous wicket played a bit on their minds. It was a fresh wicket with lot of grass to bind the surface. Hashim lost the momentum at crucial point & AB's wicket changed the pendulum slightly in SL's favour. Other guys were reluctant to play against spinners. Thus SL gained complete control. Second half had seen skidding of ball with no bounce compared to last game resulted in good for batting. There was no excuses but accepting the responsibility. Last 15 years SL's record in SL speaks with 63% win v/s all except against IND who have more than 50% win against the host.

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on July 31, 2013, 4:00 GMT

    @ KALLIS THE GREAT ...you are right....i wish Proteas boat may touch bank of success WC 2015 ! BUt SA BOARD can do that if they honestly select the team ....S.AFRICA is full with young talented players

  • meerkat55 on July 30, 2013, 22:06 GMT

    @Manowara, you are totally right! Whether Sangakkara score century against SA or Ian Bell gets his ton in the Ashes, cricket writers find a way to give credit to India. it's so obvious that the ICC and the media focused on revenue and sadly that sometimes influence where the trophy goes. I feel so sorry for the fellow cricket followers.

  • Marktc on July 30, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    It is time for SA to face some cold facts. AB is not cut out to be a captain. He may be a good leader, but he does not have what it takes to lead a cricket team. Then selection must be looked at. Players have to play on all pitches, so they have to be coached early on to do so. SA has the talent, there is no doubt. We have to just get our selections and attitudes right. Cut the non performers and rethink the wicket-keeper position. The form of the ODI team will eventually affect the test team.

  • AltafPatel on July 30, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    @Tom Kumar Yes good point, and they have only few players who can bat so against spinners Amla, DeVilliers, Kallis, and Albie Morkel out of which rest 2 are unavailable where is AB is pressurized under captain-ship.

  • AltafPatel on July 30, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    @Manowara Absolutely correct...!

  • on July 30, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    SA must practice specially for hard hitting and variety of shots against spinners because they have capability. Defence against spinners and reckless powerfull shots against capable spinners of srilankan's and indian's would never give good result.They specially should have watch the batting style of indians against spinners.

  • on July 30, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    Poor excuse.cricket is played all over d Globe.you have to adapt to succeed in any conditions!

  • Iceman29 on July 30, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    @Iceman29: Jayasurya was the first player actually who changed the way we approach the one day game before that every team used to play very slowly for the first 15 overs and considered 220 to 250 was a winning total but Jayasurya defied odds and smashed the bowling attacks from the word go and SL posted very huge totals because of him and followed by Kaluwitarana, Aravinda and Ranatunga...those were the golden days for SL..We Indians still have great respect for them the way they changed the game.....

  • Manowara on July 30, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    Well please discuss the ways and means how the two teams fair here, not how India played during the past else where. Do not turn on every affair in world cricket as a opportunity to praise India. Its understood that India is playing well at the moment. But wold cricket is not all about India. We have seen many teams dominating in world cricket during the past. India is another team in world cricket. Its a joke of talking about another team when you are supposed to watch and discus on other teams. Be realistic Indian fans.

  • on July 29, 2013, 20:00 GMT

    AB has been bold personality as we have seen in the past. Whatever he said is absolute confession about what was expected to be done on that night. One of the reasons of SA's failure against spin is their mindset. Not only AB but Mathews was having uncertainty with respect to pitch at the toss wanting to bat first. No one was sure about future behavior of the pitch till 75 overs. AB is absolute right on his part to say previous wicket played a bit on their minds. It was a fresh wicket with lot of grass to bind the surface. Hashim lost the momentum at crucial point & AB's wicket changed the pendulum slightly in SL's favour. Other guys were reluctant to play against spinners. Thus SL gained complete control. Second half had seen skidding of ball with no bounce compared to last game resulted in good for batting. There was no excuses but accepting the responsibility. Last 15 years SL's record in SL speaks with 63% win v/s all except against IND who have more than 50% win against the host.

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on July 31, 2013, 4:00 GMT

    @ KALLIS THE GREAT ...you are right....i wish Proteas boat may touch bank of success WC 2015 ! BUt SA BOARD can do that if they honestly select the team ....S.AFRICA is full with young talented players

  • meerkat55 on July 30, 2013, 22:06 GMT

    @Manowara, you are totally right! Whether Sangakkara score century against SA or Ian Bell gets his ton in the Ashes, cricket writers find a way to give credit to India. it's so obvious that the ICC and the media focused on revenue and sadly that sometimes influence where the trophy goes. I feel so sorry for the fellow cricket followers.

  • Marktc on July 30, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    It is time for SA to face some cold facts. AB is not cut out to be a captain. He may be a good leader, but he does not have what it takes to lead a cricket team. Then selection must be looked at. Players have to play on all pitches, so they have to be coached early on to do so. SA has the talent, there is no doubt. We have to just get our selections and attitudes right. Cut the non performers and rethink the wicket-keeper position. The form of the ODI team will eventually affect the test team.

  • AltafPatel on July 30, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    @Tom Kumar Yes good point, and they have only few players who can bat so against spinners Amla, DeVilliers, Kallis, and Albie Morkel out of which rest 2 are unavailable where is AB is pressurized under captain-ship.

  • AltafPatel on July 30, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    @Manowara Absolutely correct...!

  • on July 30, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    SA must practice specially for hard hitting and variety of shots against spinners because they have capability. Defence against spinners and reckless powerfull shots against capable spinners of srilankan's and indian's would never give good result.They specially should have watch the batting style of indians against spinners.

  • on July 30, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    Poor excuse.cricket is played all over d Globe.you have to adapt to succeed in any conditions!

  • Iceman29 on July 30, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    @Iceman29: Jayasurya was the first player actually who changed the way we approach the one day game before that every team used to play very slowly for the first 15 overs and considered 220 to 250 was a winning total but Jayasurya defied odds and smashed the bowling attacks from the word go and SL posted very huge totals because of him and followed by Kaluwitarana, Aravinda and Ranatunga...those were the golden days for SL..We Indians still have great respect for them the way they changed the game.....

  • Manowara on July 30, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    Well please discuss the ways and means how the two teams fair here, not how India played during the past else where. Do not turn on every affair in world cricket as a opportunity to praise India. Its understood that India is playing well at the moment. But wold cricket is not all about India. We have seen many teams dominating in world cricket during the past. India is another team in world cricket. Its a joke of talking about another team when you are supposed to watch and discus on other teams. Be realistic Indian fans.

  • Prema1948 on July 30, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    I have compared below ODI batting stats of early careers of some batting Greats of the local media & the J&Ps with that of 3 youngsters in the present Team. Pls find Averages of first 30 ODI matches(batted) of each player against their Name ArjunaRanatunga 25.82, SJayasuriya 11.21, AGurusinghe 25.03, Mhela 25.53, Dilshan 25.59, Sangakkara 23.68, Mathews 38.04, Chandimal 43.08 & Thirimanne 30.22. Apart from Gurusinghe all others have always batted as middle order batters.( Stats courtesy Cricinfo)

  • Prema1948 on July 30, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    If Amla was a SLan, I'm 100% sure that he want find a place in the side, since the J&Ps have a great disliking for batters that has total control over their stroke play it was the main reason why batters the class of Attapattu,Samaraweera have been removed from the ODI Side even when they were in their brilliant form and quality promising youngsters like Roshen Silva, KhausalSilva,AngeloPerera,ShehanJayasuriya,GayanMneshan,AshenSilva,KithruwanVithanage,DimuthK,NiroshanDickwella,.…. can't find a place in the Team.

  • Iceman29 on July 30, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    Congrats SL but Irrespective of this result SL should be worried a little bit if they are building a team with the WC 2015 on mind...SA is experimenting with some new players and they will improve with experience but as for SL two years from now on will take a toll on seniors and they will be a little bit rusty and their young brigade is not that good when we look at their performance...the youngsters in the SL currently cannot fill their seniors spots for sure.....

  • on July 30, 2013, 2:45 GMT

    Sri Lanka have always been good at home compared to overseas. SA on the other hand are simply NOT a good ODI team. They are just like England, a good test team but an average ODI team who produce inconsistent results every now and then.

  • vsssarma on July 30, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    Team selection of SAF should go by the proven performances.

    Bowling should be in the hands of Marchant de Lange, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Johan Botha and Tsotsobe.

    Batting should be consisting of AB de Villiers, JH Kallis, Hashim Amla, David Miller, JP Duminy and Faf du Plessis.

  • proteasfire on July 29, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    Lame excuse by Devilliers again. Its not about the pitch; its about the inability of middle order to make use of the start provided at the top. JP paced his innings so well and it appears he might own #3 slot if he carries the same momentum. Faf wasted yet another opportunity and SA should seriously think of his role as a batsman in ODI and whether he has done justice to earn a place in the side. On the bowling side, SA proved so ineffective in the absence of Morris and McLaren. Truly none of Morkel, Tsotsobe or Kleinveldt are strike bowlers. Tsotsobe was awkward in the field and he is unfit to be in the side. AB is too soft to be a captain and he doesnt seem to be making wise decisions when needed. Overall an utter disappointment for SA and its fans. Selectors need to make right move to bring the momentum back in this ODI side which is very inconsistent.

  • kc69 on July 29, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    I guess AB got all praises when he had a fully fit and in form team which was winning and now a team without full strength and players out of form AB has to handle it.He needs to build a team rather than depending on Dale Steyn, Amla and other senior pro's. Hope SA get some pride in the last ODI with a win. However I seriously believe the difference between SA and England is the spin attack and batsmen who are good against spin bowling. In other words SA are not good on turning tracks.

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on July 29, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    THis is an exuse to depend himself .....22 yards of wicket that been same for both sides...AB should accept he has not good team to make show.All board members ,selectors ,coach ,and captain should work togather to build the fighting team.....AB should come down the order to bat so that he can get his form and he should never touch the keeping gloves...DE KOCK is able to take the responsibality for ever ,,,,we are sure KOck can bat good as a openner ,but he needs suport from the whole side...good luck

  • Shekahr_123 on July 29, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    SA is following Australia path, they are really poor these days and AB doesn't seem to be the right man to lead SA. His batting hasn't been great since he is heading team , hope SA Cricket Board understands this and relieve him from Captaincy. Also , when Dale Steyn is not around the bowling looks very ordinary. Wake up SA ....don't run in the similar track where Australia is running.

  • on July 29, 2013, 16:41 GMT

    Sri Lanka have always been good at home compared to overseas. SA on the other hand are simply NOT a good ODI team. They are just like England, a good test team but an average ODI team who produce inconsistent results every now and then. I think a lot has to do with their mental ability to cope with pressure. In a test match, the pressure is different, yet, you will always play with a free mind knowing that you have the quality of players to put up a longer fight over 5 days. In an ODI or T20, the pressure is quick and sudden. You have to come up with different plans every 5 overs which is the main trick to master. India do it well all the time in ODI cricket, and SL do it well equally enough, more so at home. SA need to address this unless they wish to disappoint their fans during the 2015 world cup.

  • AltafPatel on July 29, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    For SA strategy, the big question is why Imran Tahir was not there whose performance in WC 2011 (his only appearance in Indian sub-continent) was outstanding. Albie, specialist against spinners, who has been playing in IPL for 6 seasons and has been one of the most successful all-rounder in the tournament, was not in the team. This raise questions to selection strategy. Farhaan given the ball far after 28 overs, who picked 3 in previous match and changed the game. As he condition was favoring spinners, they could have include 2 specialist spinners blindly and keeping with 2 seemers only in the team ! This again shows strategical immaturity of the captain and coach. There are many areas where SA need serious thinking apart from fitness.

  • AltafPatel on July 29, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    benefit for SL was that they were fully fledged whereas SA was without Kallis, Steyn, Smith and almost Amla/Tsotsobe.

  • AltafPatel on July 29, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    @Blade-Runner remember the bolwers who bowled-out SL in 43 in first ODI were regular and those in last 2 matches that SL won were all new for experimental.

  • AltafPatel on July 29, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    110\1 in 20 overs when Amla was there, then after 128\8 (excluding Amla) in 28 overs when Amla departs. The base that Amla created could not be utilized and their struggle on slow pitch and inexperience batting sided was exposed. DeVilliers, being most experienced on side and have experienced in IPL was supposed to drive the innings particularly when Duminy was already holding other end. He threw away wicket like newbies or scared and that all turned match by preventing them scoring what at that time was supposed to surpass 300. DeVilliers need to out of captaincy there by not showing over aggressiveness or scarceness and concentrate on batting freely. Du Plessis is good option for the captaincy.

  • Blade-Runner on July 29, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    @gibbs.175 ; When we toured SA in 2011, we won 2 ODI's chasing 300+ on both occasions n 1 test match. So We've done so well on South African soil but Its SA who have awful records in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka have won this series comprehensively. So you don't need to be a sore loser, just give credits where its due.

  • Perera32 on July 29, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    @gibbs.175: No mate, Sri Lanka have every right to be happy. I couldn't disagree more with your comment, Have you realised that Sri lanka have done well in every Major ICC tournament for the last 10 years. All the way from being semi finalists in the 2003 WC in Africa to the 2013 CT in England. Sri lanka have done well in all countries, look at their record in Australia in the last 5 years and their record in England in the last 10 years.

    And for those who say Sri Lanka's star players are ageing and have no talented youngsters, then they know nothing about Sri lankan cricket. 10 Years ago the same thing was said when Jayasuriya, Vaas and Murali retired and Sri lanka then found MJ, Sanga, Malinga, Dilshan and Herath.

  • Perera32 on July 29, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    Once again De Villiers has made another excuse. I have lost a lot of respect for AB De Villiers this series despite him being an outstanding cricketer. South Africa had the best of conditions when both batting and bowling. The pitch was very flat in the 1st innings and SA should've scored more than 280 runs easily. The pitch in the 2nd innings was slow and suited the spinners. AB should give credit where it's due to Sri lanka and admit he got out to a poor spinner (Dilshan) by SL standards.

  • gimme-a-greentop on July 29, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    The way the press reports De Villiers' statements always makes it sounds like he is making excuses, but he explicitly said "no excuses, the better team won..." He is far too open and honest sometimes, he must learn some bland cliches like Smith.

  • KallisTheGreatest on July 29, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    @ gibbs.175: Proteas also in the same boat, isn't it?

  • yohandf on July 29, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    @ gibbs.175 . We have a reason to happy here as we have won the series a game to spare . We may not be victorious in overseas but done reasonably well in ODI s . Came to final T20 2009 , semi in CT 2013 in England . Finalist in WC 2007 in west indies , Semi in WC 2003 in SA .2-2 ODI series vs AUS in AUS 2013 . 2-1 ODI series vs AUS in AUS 2011. These are few . Except against india , we are are winning 50% of ODI matches with all other teams . Not bad at all .

  • on July 29, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    Is Lonwabo Tsosobe the worst fielder we have ever had?

  • gibbs.175 on July 29, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    Sri Lanka should not be over happy ,because they played good cricket only and only on their home land,In India ,B.Desh ,and overseas they have nothing to be proud.Everyone knew they would this series from struggling SA .but their happiness showed S.lanka was feeling insecure against S.Africa .Ab made some mistakes to have called Rory in.but it is good ,very good he gave the gloves to young and able wicket keeper De Kock .Morkel should concentrate on his mistakes,otherwise he should be left out .because SA should try to play without DALE and Morkel .....Maclaren,MORRIS are able to take his place.Thus SA coach should turn every stone to erase the worse tag of CHOKER....He can do easily because Wast and huge talent is available in great Southafrica ..

  • Romanticstud on July 29, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    Sri-Lanka have outplayed most teams on their home turf ... Even Jacques Kallis has suffered in Sri-Lanka ... Herath is a good sub to have after Murali ruled the roost for a good number of years ... and even lesser spinners have got South Africa in a tangle ... Jayasuriya and now Dishan have bitten into the fragile batting lineup, when spin is concerned ... Amla showed how much South Africa had missed him with the bat but the ghosts of Sri-Lanka keep reappearing and we get hurt ... Just like Sub-Continent teams have a travel problem ... South Africa have a Sri-Lanka problem ... 2006 was the last time we played there and got hopelessly beaten ...

  • BLACK-BIRDS on July 29, 2013, 5:59 GMT

    Hi SA fans.......SA had good total to defend but bowling attack was poor without Morris and Maclaren( why were they out ?) Morkell never (almost never) take wicket early ....we need minimum one wicket in first two - three overs,......but he failed to do so.....Rory is another flop showman.,Robin takes some wickets but he is quit expensive bowler. SA 'batting never click together that s why they failed to put good total on the board...Morkel ,Ingram ,Alvaro are underlined .....De Kock should be given more opportunities ,he showing he has abilities to become a opener....it's good JP got form back......but FAF is out of form....at all we need more youngsters to be called.......good luck

  • ZCFOutkast on July 29, 2013, 5:31 GMT

    Everything plays on your mind AB! Be it whether to keep or not to keep, to open or slot into the middle, whether your back will take both keeping&batting, even you own field placings play on your mind. It doesn't really matter because at the end of the day you also play on CSA's minds and they are all to happy to oblige!

  • ZCFOutkast on July 29, 2013, 5:31 GMT

    Everything plays on your mind AB! Be it whether to keep or not to keep, to open or slot into the middle, whether your back will take both keeping&batting, even you own field placings play on your mind. It doesn't really matter because at the end of the day you also play on CSA's minds and they are all to happy to oblige!

  • BLACK-BIRDS on July 29, 2013, 5:59 GMT

    Hi SA fans.......SA had good total to defend but bowling attack was poor without Morris and Maclaren( why were they out ?) Morkell never (almost never) take wicket early ....we need minimum one wicket in first two - three overs,......but he failed to do so.....Rory is another flop showman.,Robin takes some wickets but he is quit expensive bowler. SA 'batting never click together that s why they failed to put good total on the board...Morkel ,Ingram ,Alvaro are underlined .....De Kock should be given more opportunities ,he showing he has abilities to become a opener....it's good JP got form back......but FAF is out of form....at all we need more youngsters to be called.......good luck

  • Romanticstud on July 29, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    Sri-Lanka have outplayed most teams on their home turf ... Even Jacques Kallis has suffered in Sri-Lanka ... Herath is a good sub to have after Murali ruled the roost for a good number of years ... and even lesser spinners have got South Africa in a tangle ... Jayasuriya and now Dishan have bitten into the fragile batting lineup, when spin is concerned ... Amla showed how much South Africa had missed him with the bat but the ghosts of Sri-Lanka keep reappearing and we get hurt ... Just like Sub-Continent teams have a travel problem ... South Africa have a Sri-Lanka problem ... 2006 was the last time we played there and got hopelessly beaten ...

  • gibbs.175 on July 29, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    Sri Lanka should not be over happy ,because they played good cricket only and only on their home land,In India ,B.Desh ,and overseas they have nothing to be proud.Everyone knew they would this series from struggling SA .but their happiness showed S.lanka was feeling insecure against S.Africa .Ab made some mistakes to have called Rory in.but it is good ,very good he gave the gloves to young and able wicket keeper De Kock .Morkel should concentrate on his mistakes,otherwise he should be left out .because SA should try to play without DALE and Morkel .....Maclaren,MORRIS are able to take his place.Thus SA coach should turn every stone to erase the worse tag of CHOKER....He can do easily because Wast and huge talent is available in great Southafrica ..

  • on July 29, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    Is Lonwabo Tsosobe the worst fielder we have ever had?

  • yohandf on July 29, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    @ gibbs.175 . We have a reason to happy here as we have won the series a game to spare . We may not be victorious in overseas but done reasonably well in ODI s . Came to final T20 2009 , semi in CT 2013 in England . Finalist in WC 2007 in west indies , Semi in WC 2003 in SA .2-2 ODI series vs AUS in AUS 2013 . 2-1 ODI series vs AUS in AUS 2011. These are few . Except against india , we are are winning 50% of ODI matches with all other teams . Not bad at all .

  • KallisTheGreatest on July 29, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    @ gibbs.175: Proteas also in the same boat, isn't it?

  • gimme-a-greentop on July 29, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    The way the press reports De Villiers' statements always makes it sounds like he is making excuses, but he explicitly said "no excuses, the better team won..." He is far too open and honest sometimes, he must learn some bland cliches like Smith.

  • Perera32 on July 29, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    Once again De Villiers has made another excuse. I have lost a lot of respect for AB De Villiers this series despite him being an outstanding cricketer. South Africa had the best of conditions when both batting and bowling. The pitch was very flat in the 1st innings and SA should've scored more than 280 runs easily. The pitch in the 2nd innings was slow and suited the spinners. AB should give credit where it's due to Sri lanka and admit he got out to a poor spinner (Dilshan) by SL standards.

  • Perera32 on July 29, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    @gibbs.175: No mate, Sri Lanka have every right to be happy. I couldn't disagree more with your comment, Have you realised that Sri lanka have done well in every Major ICC tournament for the last 10 years. All the way from being semi finalists in the 2003 WC in Africa to the 2013 CT in England. Sri lanka have done well in all countries, look at their record in Australia in the last 5 years and their record in England in the last 10 years.

    And for those who say Sri Lanka's star players are ageing and have no talented youngsters, then they know nothing about Sri lankan cricket. 10 Years ago the same thing was said when Jayasuriya, Vaas and Murali retired and Sri lanka then found MJ, Sanga, Malinga, Dilshan and Herath.