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Tahir Has Been My Biggest Weapon Over the Years: Du Plessis

South African captain Faf du Plessis was proud of his team's effort after the hosts romped home to a comfortable eight-wicket win in the opening One-Day International against Sri Lanka at the Wanderer's Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday (March 3).

Cricketnext Staff |March 3, 2019, 9:35 PM IST
Tahir Has Been My Biggest Weapon Over the Years: Du Plessis

South African captain Faf du Plessis was proud of his team's effort after the hosts romped home to a comfortable eight-wicket win in the opening One-Day International against Sri Lanka at the Wanderer's Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday (March 3).

"I thought we played very well. We won an important toss. And to chase it down like that, against Sri Lanka's spinners on a slow wicket, I think that was pretty good," du Plessis said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Having restricted Sri Lanka to 231 in 47 overs, South Africa - led by du Plessis' 11th ODI century and Quinton de Kock's eventful 81 - chased down the target in just 38.5 overs with eight wickets in the bag.

The star of the show with the ball was Imran Tahir, who stifled the opposition in the middle overs with impeccable figures of 3/26 in his ten overs that earned him effusive praise from his captain.

"Imran has been my biggest weapon over the years. He is so hard to face when he is bowling to new batters and that makes the wickets with the new ball even more important," said du Plessis who was also awarded Man of the Match for his 112.

"Imran in the middle overs is a handful if he is bowling to five and six, so early strikes are very useful for us."

Du Plessis also lauded de Kock with whom he stitched a 136-run stand for the second wicket to lay a solid foundation.

"If Quinton is scoring runs, he always puts the bowlers under pressure. It's nice to bat with him, he makes the flow really easy," he said.

Lasith Malinga, the Sri Lankan captain, rued the successive loss of wickets in the first innings. The visitors were going well at one stage on 194/4 but lost their last six wickets for a mere 36 runs to fall well short of a competitive total.

"We lost wickets at a crucial time. It was hard to capitalize after that. It was tough for the new batsmen to come in and score quickly as the wicket became slow," remarked Malinga.

"The set batsmen in the middle have to take the responsibility of finishing the match. Players have to concentrate on their roles. They have to finish the innings well."

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