South Africa will have to move on quickly from the drubbing it received in the World Cup opener against England and regroup themselves before its next game against Bangladesh, said captain Faf du Plessis.
South Africa were thrashed by 104 runs by favourites England in the opening match of the ICC World Cup, which began at The Oval on Thursday.
Asked to bat, England made 311 for eight and then bundled out the Proteas for 207.
Du Plessis admitted they were outplayed in all facets of the game by England.
“You are going to play games and come up against opposition that are better than you. England beat us in all three facets of the game,” Du Plessis said after the defeat.
“As much as we are disappointed, we will want to learn from it quickly and put it to bed. We want to move on from it quickly.”
South Africa will face Bangladesh in its second match at The Oval on Sunday.
South Africa witnessed a bad start to its chase when veteran opener Hashim Amla was forced to retire hurt after being hit on the head.
The right-hander later returned but by then Jofra Archer-led England bowling attack had already caused the damage.
“The flow of the innings unfortunately started with Hashim coming off. When you are chasing a big score like 312, you need a good start to settle the dressing room,” Du Plessis said.
“A good start is really important. With him coming off, a few overs later Aiden (Markram) got out and then I got out. When you go three down, it becomes tough and the score looks big, it looks too far.
“The pitch was good enough.”
Du Plessis backed his decision to start the innings with Imran Tahir in place of Kagiso Rabada and the ploy worked wonders as the leg-spinner got rid off Jonny Bairstow with the second delivery of the tournament.
“It was a plan. It was something we first thought about a year ago. When we played against England, I thought we want to go with him because it is different,” Du Plessis said.
“At The Oval you want to bowl two seamers first but we went with what I thought was the best way to get a wicket. I went with my gut.
“Imran had not bowled with the new ball before so he had been practising that for the last two weeks. He knew he was going to do that today,” he added.
South Africa content with bowling effort, says Ngidi
Handed a massive defeat in their World Cup opener, South African pacer Lungi Ngidi said the team was satisfied with their bowling effort as they managed to restrict England to what he feels was a “below-par” total.
South Africa were thrashed by 104 runs by hosts England in the opening match of the ICC World Cup, which began at The Oval on Thursday.
Opting to field first, the South African bowlers did well to restrict the powerful English batting line-up to 311 for eight but were later shot out for 207.
“We believed we could have kept them to under 300. Even when they got to 311, I thought they were below-par,” Ngidi said after the defeat.
Ngidi, who was hit for 27 runs in his first four overs, said initially he was bothered by the thought of preventing England from scoring 350.
“I was very disappointed with my bowling performance upfront. I might have been overthinking it. All the talk was how they post totals of 350 so maybe that was at the back of my mind,” he said.
However, the 23-year-old soon found his bearings, adjusting his pace according to the wicket.
“There were a few opportunities in the Powerplay, where they nicked it through the slips and I started to think, ‘These people are humans, just like me’. I kicked into my rhythm from there.”
“I listened to what the wicket was telling me. Slower balls were working so I stuck to that. Even though they were trying to come after me, they couldn’t seem to get it away,” Ngidi said.
Ngidi finished with figures of 3/66 and took the crucial wickets of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali.
“I was happy to take three sticks but would have preferred two up front,” he said.
Despite restricting England to a gettable total, South Africa realised they had a mountain to climb after two early wickets.
Veteran opener Hashim Amla retiring hut in just the second delivery after being hit on the head too made life difficult for South Africa.
“We realised it was not an easy wicket to bat on, having bowled all those slower balls at the back end. And they kept us on the back foot. They kept throwing punches at us,” Ngidi said.
“Hashim retired early which was unfortunate for us. When he came back on, batting with the all-rounders and the tail, he was probably less effective than he would have been up front.”
Putting the loss behind, South Africa still have their eyes firmly set on the semi-final spot. They will take on Bangladesh in their next game here on Sunday.
“Every game is important. Everyone had hyped up their first game to the point where you started feeling as if it was the final already but we didn’t let that get to us. We know what we need to do in order to get to the semi-finals,” Ngidi said.
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