Dubai: South African Twenty20 captain Faf du Plessis has said he was happy with his team's never-say-die performances against Pakistan, culminating in a 2-0 win series win in Dubai on Friday.
The tour-ending clash saw Pakistan collapse once more, ending with 144-9 in pursuit of a 151-run target. That came hard on the heels of a 4-1 loss in the preceding one-day series in which their batsmen also gave away winning positions.
On Friday, Pakistan were cruising at 101-3 in the 14th over before losing seven wickets for 43 runs. They also lost the first one-dayer in Sharjah by one run from a winning position, needing 17 in five overs with five wickets intact and they also lost five wickets for ten runs in the fourth match in Abu Dhabi.
Du Plessis said that the battling finishes against Pakistan showed once again that the Proteas had finally shed the old image of them being chokers.
"I like that it`s finally not on us any more," said Du Plessis after the match. "But I am pretty sure that when a tournament comes we will be getting all of that again."
South Africa have never won a major international tournament other than a Champions Trophy title in 1998. They were ousted in the semi-finals of 1992, 1999 and 2007 and were ousted in the quarter-finals in 1996 and 2011 World Cups (50 overs) and in the semi-final of the 2009 World Twenty20.
Du Plessis said he believed his team had proved that they can do well in pressure situations. "For me its important that we perform under pressure. When you come to the World Cup every single game is a hard pressure game and this series win is good for us before the World Twenty20 next year," he said.
Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez admitted his team was in a difficult situation. "It is a diffcult time for us," said Hafeez. "I know our fans are disappointed but I can assure you that we too are in distress and we will do everything to bring the team back to a winning position."
The Pakistan team will leave for South Africa later Saturday to play two Twenty20 and three one-days between November 20-30. Hafeez said the team was capable of winning abroad.
"We have the capability to do well anywhere in the world and the only thing is that we must apply ourselves and leave the past behind us," said Hafeez. Paceman Mohammad Irfan, who injured his groin and a had a side strain, is likely to miss the South Africa tour.