SL vs SA: Regret not finishing the first game off, says Boucher after ODI series loss

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Proteas coach Mark Boucher (file image)
Proteas coach Mark Boucher (file image)

Colombo [Sri Lanka], September 8 (ANI): South Africa head coach Mark Boucher has said that he regrets his side not being able to finish the first ODI of the three-match series off and how it potentially lead to a series loss for the Proteas.

Boucher's remarks came after the conclusion of the third ODI, where Proteas suffered a 78-run defeat. Heading into the final game, the series stood level at 1-1.

"If I look at the series as a whole, we were given an opportunity to win the series in the first game. We were in control of that run chase and we slipped up in maybe a period of five overs. We were unfortunate to lose Temba when we did. In order to win a series in the subcontinent, you've got to cash in when that opportunity arises. That's the biggest regret, that we didn't finish off that first game," ESPNcricinfo quoted Boucher as saying.

Talking about the batting side of things, Boucher said: "It was frustrating because everyone in our top order has had a good knock in the previous two games," Boucher said. "They've spent some time out in the middle; the guys are in good form. On a wicket that is tough, and is going to get tougher as the game goes on, to lose three wickets in the first five overs and four of your top six in the first 10, you're always going to be on the back foot. Although we kept up with the required run rate the whole time we just lost wickets. And they did bowl well -- they bowled smartly. Their seamer bowled with good energy and bowled good areas, backed up by some good catching."

In the third and final ODI, Proteas used all their four spinners and each one of them bowled their full quota of ten overs.

"It's a change of mindset. As South Africans, we are used to fast-bowlers, a lot of allrounders but you've got to back that up with good spinning options and that is where we are quite strong at the moment," Boucher said.

"We've got a lot of depth in the spinning department and guys are really competing. Shammo [Tabraiz Shamsi] is No. 1 in T20s and Keshav has really come a long way and he is bowling at his best. The mindset has changed to try and be smarter in these conditions," he added.

Sri Lanka and South Africa will now lock horns in the T20I series, beginning Friday. (ANI)

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