AB de Villiers lauded his side’s character under pressure after South Africa defeated Sri Lanka by 56 runs in the third One-Day International (ODI) while withstanding a Thisara Perera onslaught, according to ESPNcricinfo.
Their victory was aided by an explosive unbeaten 85 from David Miller and some hostile bowling by the fast-bowlers in Pallekele that kept the five-match series alive.
South Africa defended their moderate total of 223 for seven by dismissing Sri Lanka for 167 in the 44th over, despite Perera hitting Robin Peterson for 35 runs off the 33rd, the second most expensive in ODI history.
However, much of the damage had been done earlier, however, with fast-bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe taking four for 22, well supported by Morne Morkel who went wicketless but put the Sri Lankan batsman under pressure.
“It’s a great win,” said De Villiers. “We handled the pressure situations extremely well, which pleased me very much. We stayed really calm, stuck to our game plan, kept it really simple and came out on top. The guys looked really hungry and I’m glad we made it through.
“After Tsotsobe dropped the catch I told him it could happen to anyone, because I felt he might get another catch, which he did. He improved the second time around.
“Those kinds of things happen. Sometimes it costs you the game, sometimes it doesn’t. This time we were lucky it didn’t cost us the game. We moved on, which was the positive thing again. We stayed calm in all the situations and that was great.
“Also, the partnership he and Morne formed up front was outstanding and they set the standard for us.”
The fourth match will be played at the same venue today, with the fifth and final match in Colombo.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2013.
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