Johannesburg – Proteas stand-in captain AB de Villiers feels his team may be peaking at the right time after qualifying for the semi-finals of the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.
After losing their opening match to Sri Lanka and escaping with narrow wins against New Zealand and the Netherlands, they put in their best performance of the tournament to beat England by three runs.
“It's always important in tournaments like this to show form at the right time and to get a bit of confidence and momentum on your side,” De Villiers said in a press release on Sunday.
“We have probably been guilty of not getting that right and peaking a bit early. We are looking good and it's up to us to play another good game later this week.
“We haven't really played well until tonight (Saturday) and it was nice for us to click and play a decent game of cricket heading into the knock-out stages.”
De Villiers' 69 runs from 28 balls was the difference between the two sides, an innings the 30-year-old said he thoroughly enjoyed.
He came to the crease after 10.5 overs, and turned the match in South Africa's favour by smashing 26 off the 18th over bowled by Jade Dernbach.
“I'm not sure it's about the position that I'm batting in, I came in after the 10th over, that is what made the difference,” De Villiers said when asked about his success at number-three.
“The coaching staff enjoys me batting in those kind of situations and that is probably why they are leaving me at four so that when I come in I can capitalise on the situation.
“I was motivated to do well no matter what position I batted in and to build a good platform for the game.”
As a matter of interest, statistics reveal that De Villiers averages 46 with a strike-rate of 183 when he comes to the crease after 10 overs and a lowly 14 when he comes to the crease before 10 overs.
The Proteas travelled to Dhaka on Sunday morning, and will wait on the results of the final round of matches to see which team they would play in the semi-finals.
They will also have their captain Faf du Plessis back in the driving seat after his one-match suspension for maintaining a slow over-rate.
“It's a great honour and a brilliant achievement to represent your country in tournaments like this,” De Villiers said about reaching the semi-final.
“It's always great doing well and giving the people back home something to cheer about.
“We are excited to go to Dhaka and to play another good game of cricket.
“We want to go out there and give it our best shot, hopefully it will pull us through.” – Sapa