Tuesday 2 September 2014 

My Job Is To Score Hundreds - Du Plessis

Faf du Plessis hits out
Faf du Plessis has now scored 601 runs in 13 innings at number three - an average of 46.23
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

After scoring two One-Day International centuries in three matches, South African batsman Faf du Plessis maintains that making big scores is what is expected of him while batting at number three in the order.

While du Plessis' 106 in the second tri-series ODI against Australia helped his side win by seven wickets, his latest knock - 126 in 109 balls - was not enough for his side.

They went down by 62 runs and now need to avoid a heavy defeat in their final group game against Zimbabwe on Thursday to join Australia in the final.

"I’ve said before that my job is to score hundreds," Proteas told the media following the match.

"I ticked that box but getting a hundred and crossing your team over the line is much sweeter.

"Even when I was scoring I always felt like it was too far away because we kept on losing wickets," he said before adding that he hopes he can maintain the strong form he is in at the moment.

"I’m hitting the ball nicely, but I feel I can still improve quite a bit

"I’m enjoying the number three role, I think it suits me a lot better than it did at number six.

"What is really important for me is to get big runs when you are in some sort of form. It (form) can change really quickly, I need to make sure I keep putting in big runs for the team."

However, big runs from the bat of du Plessis aren't enough without support, and he lamented his team's inability to build partnerships in this match, which saw them bowled out for 220 after being set 283 to win.

"The way the wickets play here is the reason for that.

"The ball gets slower so it’s difficult when you come in as a new batter to score runs.

"It’s definitely the toughest time of the innings to bat. In saying that, you need to make sure that when you get a partnership going you extend it as long as possible.

"That was the difference with our performance in the previous match. AB and I had a good partnership, unfortunately 30 or 40 run partnerships are not going to win you the game."

What did win the game, or at least put Australia on the front foot, was the batting of Mitchell Marsh. The all-rounder slammed 86 not out in just 51 balls, and du Plessis thinks his late onslaught made a huge difference to the outcome of the game.

"I think if we pinpoint an area where we probably lost the game it was when Mitchell Marsh fired at the end of the innings," he said.

"Their innings was set up to reach 240 or 250 and we had a brilliant bowling performance until then.

"He played fantastic cricket shots, but we as a bowling unit will be disappointed that we allowed him to score so many sixes."

© Cricket World 2014

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