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There’s a lot at stake, it’s a big-pressure final – de Villiers

There's a lot at stake, it's a big-pressure final - de Villiers

AB de Villiers brought it up first this time. South Africa are heading back to Eden Park for a winner-takes-all showdown. And it’s not a one-off T20I this time.

“There’s a big final to play, there’s a lot at stake, it’s a big-pressure game,” he said. “It would be great for us to come through a big-pressure game like that, especially at Eden Park. We won the T20 and it would be great to win the ODI and finish this leg of the tour on a high. We haven’t yet hit our straps as we wanted to, yet, in both departments, so hopefully it will happen in the last game.”

Twice he called Saturday’s match a “pressure game” and twice he termed it a “final” – a combination of factors that haunts South African cricket history. Even a decider of a bilateral series – during which South Africa have seen their No. 1 ranking slip away – can’t replicate the significance of a global tournament semi-final, but it’s the closest they will get before it comes to crunch time at the Champions Trophy.



“They respect him a bit more, are playing him better, and that sometimes happens if you have a match-winner in your team,” he said. “We also look after one or two of their bowlers and are confident we dominate the rest. They have a similar game plan against Immi; they really looked after him well tonight (on Wednesday). They took him on at the right time.

“Eden Park’s wicket is a bit quicker; Immi likes to bowl on quicker wickets. Tonight’s was pretty slow, so even if you didn’t pick him, you could play him. Most spinners like a pitch that turns quickly.”

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