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We knew anything over 250 would be challenging for India: Faf du Plessis

Faf du Plessis was full of praise for the South African cricket team after their 135-run win over India, saying his side knew a lead of over 250 would be a challenge to chase in those conditions.

cricket Updated: Jan 17, 2018 21:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Faf du Plessis,South African cricket team,Indian cricket team
South African cricket team skipper Faf du Plessis (C) said having a lead in excess of 250 was what turned the second Test vs India in their favour. (AP)

Faf du Plessis lauded South Africa’s fighting spirit in their 135-run series-clinching win over India at Centurion and said getting a lead of over 250 turned the game in their favour. (IND v SA highlights)

After a not-so-impressive last session of the opening day, the Proteas showed a lot of character to secure a 28-run first innings lead despite Virat Kohli’s masterful 153. (IND v SA full scorecard)

The hosts then rode on AB de Villiers’ 80 and captain Faf du Plessis’ patient 48 to set the Indian cricket team a target of 287. In reply, the visitors lost wickets at regular intervals and could only manage 151, succumbing to their second consecutive series defeat in South Africa.

“It took a lot of hard work over the last five days. We were on top pretty much most of the times. One of the harder Tests, given it was tough to pick wickets,” du Plessis said at post-match presentation.

“After Day 1, we were very disappointed. In that last 45 minutes, we gave India a sniff but we made sure we showed character over the last four days. We were short in the first innings.”

“We needed to get 400 but for me the vital time was the second innings. We kept pushing and we knew anything over 250 would be challenging.”

Faf du Plessis also heaped praise on Lungi Ngidi, who returned with figures of 6/39 to dismantle India in the second innings to earn the Man-of-the-Match award.

“It was a special performance (by Ngidi). He’s a great guy and we welcome him into the team. I look at the person’s personality and he’s a wonderful human being,” he said.

South Africa also fielded well throughout the Test. On Day 5, Morne Morkel took a blinder at fine leg to get rid of Parthiv Patel while de Villiers took an excellent low catch at long leg to send Rohit Sharma back to the pavilion. The India No. 6 looked in splendid form as he neared his maiden half-century in South Africa before departing on 47.

Asked on a lighter note whose catch was better, du Plessis said: “Morne’s catch was better than AB’s. Morne is going to tell us a lot about that catch over the next few days. Taking him catch that was a beautiful sight.”

First Published: Jan 17, 2018 17:44 IST