De Villiers hails South African never-say-die attitude


South Africa captain AB de Villiers said his side's stunning three-run Twenty20 win against England on Friday was down to the "never-say-die" attitude of the Proteas.

England appeared to be heading towards another crushing victory and an unassailable 2-0 series lead at Taunton, with the hosts cruising towards the South African total of 174-8.

But when Jason Roy was dismissed in controversial circumstances, the opener given out for obstruction after hitting 67 in a century partnership with Jonny Bairstow (47), excellent bowling from Chris Morris, Dane Paterson and Andile Phehlukwayo saw the Proteas home.

De Villiers had earlier hit an explosive 20-ball 46 to guide his side to a reasonable score and the skipper believes his team's improved spirit was crucial to their fightback

"I asked the boys to take it one ball at a time," he told Sky Sports. "We had better intent, better energy, good plans. 

"We discussed the wicket, what we felt was a difficult length, change-ups, the bouncer. Then it was about the energy and showing the South African never-say-die attitude.

"We love the game back home and to see us come out on top means a lot - and now we have a decider on Sunday."

Morris (2-18) claimed the wickets of Sam Billings (3) and Bairstow in a brilliant display and the bowler agreed with his captain that South Africa's character was demonstrated in the team's unlikely comeback.

"We showed a lot of fight. We've been going through a tough time as team recently but we pulled through today," Morris told Sky Sports. 

"We thought the wicket might have got better and, with the short boundaries, we knew we had to bowl really well. I did think we were a touch short.

"In this game of T20 it's quite easy to lie down and get beaten. You have to show a lot of fight and we did that today."