De Villiers says Lanka blitz was pre-planned

Paarl (S. Africa): South Africa’s one-day cricket team captain AB de Villiers has praised his bowlers for bowling to a pre-determined plan to skittle Sri Lanka out for its lowest total in one-dayers.

“The plan came together. I asked the boys to run in with the new ball and strike, and Morne and Lopsy and then Dale did exactly that - they made my job extremely easy today. Lots of credit must go to the bowlers, who ran in with force,” said a visibly elated De Villiers after Lanka were removed for 43.

“The key on these kind of tracks is to really run in hard and hit the deck; then you’ll get out of it what you require ... a little bit of low bounce too, some that went a bit through the top, and even a bit of seam movement we didn’t expect,” De Villiers said.

“You saw Dale not clocking in below 144-145 (km/h); same with Morne, so lots of aggression coming there,” he added.

He admitted sterner examinations would lie ahead for his captaincy.

“It wasn’t the kind of test I was hoping for because we played really well. I know the hardest part is still coming ... I wasn’t tested at all tonight. It was attack, attack by us right from the beginning to the end so that is the easiest way of leading a side. My test will come when we are under pressure, and I am prepared for that. I know this is not the time to get excited; I’ve played this game long enough to know that,” De Villiers said.

De Villiers also described batsman Hashim Amla as a “rock” of the batting line-up.

It is certainly reflected in his burgeoning ODI statistics - he is now averaging 56.38 after 53 appearances in the 50-overs game and has a fine strike rate of just under 92 into the bargain.

ANI

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