World T20: We were half a step behind West Indies, says South Africa skipper du Plessis after narrow loss
West Indies managed to overcome South Africa's lowly target of 123 with three wickets to spare, qualifying for the World T20 semi-finals in the process.
Nagpur: West Indies captain Darren Sammy said their main objective coming into Friday's ICC World T20 match against South Africa was to qualify for the semifinals and he was delighted to have accomplished the task in Nagpur.
South African T20I skipper Faf du Plessis on the other hand, said that his side were half a step behind the 2012 World T20 champions during the crucial match.
In-form West Indies continued their unbeaten run and defeated South Africa by three wickets to seal their spot in the semifinals of the tournament.
With three wins out of as many games, West Indies thus became the second team after New Zealand to enter the semi-finals of the marque event.
"Yes I was smiling because of the position the game was, but there were butterflies in there. We came here to win this match and qualify, and we've done that, so we're really happy,' a delighted Sammy said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Sammy commended his teammates for holding on to their nerves under pressure situations while chasing South Africa's 122 for eight.
"Today we were under pressure chasing a low total, and every decision we took out there they (players) responded. But I really want to commend my team on (how my team coped with the pressure)," he said.
South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis said they were not at their best on Friday, and played a catch-up game in the entire match.
"It felt like the whole game we were half a step behind West Indies and we were trying to catch up the whole time," he said.
"10 runs maybe more from the batters — 135 deck. But a great fight by the boys. This game makes us all very old, very quickly! West Indies were just a little bit better than us today."
Man-of-the-match Marlon Samuels, who scored a run-a-ball 44 for West Indies, said it was difficult to play shots on the pitch
and credited South African bowlers for putting up a fight.
"Sometimes you have to bat according to situation. The pitch was a bit on the slow side, but credit to South Africa. They bowled in good areas," he said.
Steve Smith, David Warner and other big names included in Australia's squad for limited-overs tour to West Indies
Marnus Labuschagne however, misses out due to "logistical complexities" of joining the squad from the UK, which would necessitate him to undergo two weeks of quarantine.
Cricket South Africa director of cricket Graeme Smith said South Africa would play two Test matches and five Twenty20 internationals in the Caribbean during a tour which will start in early June at venues which had still to be finalised.
The T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier, due to be hosted in Canada between 17 and 23 July, involving the hosts, Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Panama and the USA, has been postponed due to government and travel restrictions