After registering their second win of the 2019 ICC World Cup by beating Sri Lanka by 9 wickets, South African captain Faf du Plessis said his side wanted to ensure they enjoy their final week at the showpiece event.
South Africa’s final match however might not allow that as they play defending champions Australia at Old Trafford.
“As tough as it's been behind-the-scenes, there's been teamship behind the performances. There was never anything behind-the-scenes that wasn't working.” Du Plessis said.
“It was purely a case of us not being good enough to beat teams and us letting ourselves down on some other occasions and we have been outplayed one or two times, but we have tried to enjoy it.
“In saying that, it's not, it's difficult to enjoy it all the time when you are not getting the performances that you want.
“Then we try and get away from the game to make sure that there is still a bit of fun away from the game, so it was really good to see that we could enjoy ourselves on the field today as well.”
The Proteas bowled out Sri Lanka for 203 and had Dwaine Pretorius, who hadn't played since the first game against England, to credit as he finished with figures of 3/25.
Pretorius had previously missed out as fellow all-rounder Chris Morris was preferred, which du Plessis explained was based on conditions that called for more pace. In Durham, on a slower surface, Pretorius’ consistency cracked the nod.
“We were looking for someone that was accurate,” du Plessis added. “It is about doing your job and the basics extremely well and that is not needing to bowl at 160kph or swinging the ball both ways consistently.
“It is literally running and doing the basics of your job as well as you can and that is what he did today.”
It was Pretorius who set the tone for South Africa as they chased down their first 200 plus target at this World Cup.
Hashim Amla (80*) and Du Plessis (96*) both scored unbeaten half-centuries as they finished off the chase with more than 10 overs to spare.
Du Plessis put that down to them being under less pressure to score quickly which allowed them to settle.
“Chasing 200 is obviously a little bit easier than chasing 350, by starting your innings off, it is a completely different game, you can bat towards your own tempo.”
While the tournament has been a disappointment for the Proteas, the skipper said it has been a crazy competition with plenty of surprises.
“It's been a remarkable tournament where different teams on their day can beat anyone and it shows you that if you are not on top of your game, in international cricket. The margins are so small,” du Plessis said.
“We haven't been great this tournament, but we certainly haven't been that far off the ball.”