Johannesburg: South African captain AB de Villiers has admitted that his team had `felt the heat` after which it floundered after the loss of quick wickets in the morning of the ICC Champions Trophy semi-final against England, who cruised into the final with a seven-wicket win at The Oval.
Underlining South Africa`s reputation as `chokers, Alastair Cook`s men outplayed the Proteas after electing to bowl on an overcast day at the Oval where England had lost to the West Indies in the final of the same event in 2004.
Admitting that his team had felt the pressure, De Villiers also said that they did not play well enough despite having enough talent to win the tournament, adding that their performance had no excuses.
However, the skipper said that he is proud of David Miller and Rory Kleinveldt, whose record ninth-wicket partnership of 95 gave the total some respectability, adding that he also expected the other players to have kept fighting till the end like the duo.
According to De Villiers, England was successful with their plans, adding that although Proteas bowlers tried everything with the ball, but the wicket got very flat in the afternoon.
South Africa paid for a brittle batting display despite Miller`s unbeaten 56 and Kleinveldt`s career-best 43 in their country`s best one-day partnership for the ninth wicket.