South Africa v England: Discipline key for Proteas in order to keep check on England, says Faf Du Plessis

South Africa's Faf Du Plessis.

South Africa's Faf Du Plessis.

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Faf du Plessis has warned South Africa cannot afford another false start against England.

The hosts were still in with an outside chance of chasing a mammoth 399-9, thanks to the brilliant batting of unbeaten centurion Quinton de Kock, when a storm broke and confirmed victory for England on Duckworth-Lewis in the first one-day international.

Du Plessis shared a century stand with De Kock to help keep South Africa in contention.

But he believes they had been left with an unenviable task by ill-disciplined early bowling which allowed England openers Jason Roy and Alex Hales to set the match up for England.

“I felt we did make a lot of mistakes,” said Du Plessis, reflecting on a 68-run opening stand in less than eight overs and the need to prevent a recurrence at St George’s Park today.

“We gave a lot of boundaries away.

“We weren’t as disciplined as we’d want to be. So that is the focus for tomorrow, to try to hold the pressure a little bit longer.”

South Africa rested Kagiso Rabada at the Mangaung Oval, where Marchant de Lange and Chris Morris took the new ball.

Kyle Abbott is fit again after a thigh injury and is likely to return, for De Lange.

Whoever is in the attack, though, Du Plessis added: “Our skills with the ball have to improve.

“About a quarter into the game, our bowlers started bowling a little bit better.

“It’s important in this game to try to do that from the beginning, not wake up 10 or 15 overs into it and then try to put those things into place.”

South Africa will take heart, as well as food for thought, from their opening defeat.

“We were pretty disappointed with how we bowled and fielded,” said Du Plessis.

“We can take a lot of confidence from a batting side of things, but we were pretty disappointed to go 1-0 down. Now the pressure is on us.”

There may be an added complication for all – including England’s Jos Buttler – depending on the timing of the potentially highly-lucrative Indian Premier League auction, which clashes with this second match of five.

Du Plessis already has his IPL deal confirmed – but admits, in Buttler’s shoes or those of some of his South Africa team-mates, he might just be a little distracted.

“It does play on your mind,” said Du Plessis.

“I’ve been part of that and I’d be lying if I said you come to the game, and everything is on the game.

“It’s a big thing. Let’s not lie to each other – the (IPL) auction in today’s cricket is life-changing for a lot of players.”

“It’s really important to play there for your development. I can only speak for myself, but my game has improved a lot for playing with the guys over there.”

The likely progress of the auction, in Bangalore, is uncertain.

But there is a chance all the deals will be done before start-of-play here.

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