De Villiers not popping the champagne just yet

Middle-order batsman AB de Villiers, in his first tour as South Africa’s ODI captain, says the Proteas cannot rest on their laurels as they look to wrap up a series victory over Sri Lanka.

The hosts go into the third match with a 2-0 advantage and a victory in Bloemfontein on Tuesday would seal the five-match series.

“I’m not going to touch the money yet,” De Villiers said on Monday.

“There is still a lot of hard work ahead of us but we’ll go out there with everything we have, try and play the best game possible and hopefully come out on top.”

Sri Lanka improved vastly from the first ODI, where they were bowled out for 43 — their lowest total ever — to set a target of 237 runs in the second game.

Their star batsmen, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, have not done justice to their reputations, but De Villiers said they remained a dangerous prospect.

“They are three big factors, and if they come good, we’ll try and minimise the damage,” De Villiers said.

Back to basics
“So we must make sure we play good cricket, focus on our combinations and our basics and, if we do that well, we’ll win on the day.”

Historically, South Africa have a good record at Chevrolet Park and have not lost at the ground since Australia’s 37-run victory in March 2002, when Graeme Smith made his ODI debut and Ricky Ponting scored his first hundred as captain.

They will be without veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who is being rested, opening batsman Hashim Amla, who has returned home for personal reasons and injured seam bowler Rory Kleinveldt.

De Villiers, however, said the last three matches of the series offered a chance to mix things up, with Alviro Petersen, Colin Ingram and Vernon Philander having joined the 14-man squad.

“It’s important for us to win this series — that comes first,” De Villiers said.

“It’s also one of those series, though, where we want to try some different combinations.

Good momentum
“We have a massive tour of New Zealand coming up, so Jacques has gone home for a bit of rest.

“Hashim Amla is with his wife [who is expecting her first child], but luckily they’re not unknown boys who have come in to the side, so it’s very exciting for us.”

Regardless of their line-up, De Villiers said the Proteas hoped to wrap up the series with two games to play.

“It’s a very big game for us and we’re not taking it lightly,” the skipper said.

“Even with some of the new guys coming in, we have the foundations in place.

“Everything looks good and we have the momentum but our feet are firmly on the ground.” — Sapa

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Jenny Bernstein
Guest Author
Advertisting

‘Frustrated’ police resort to force

Regulation uncertainty leaves slap-happy police and soldiers to decide when people should or shouldn’t be allowed on the streets

Mail & Guardian needs your help

Our job is to help give you the information we all need to participate in building this country, while holding those in power to account. But now the power to help us keep doing that is in your hands

Press Releases

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders