AB de Villiers upset over ball-tampering allegations

Despite the disappointment of losing the short ODI series against England on Saturday, Proteas skipper AB de Villiers was more "upset" over his side - apparently - being subtly accused of tampering with the ball.

Asked at a post-match news conference if he felt he was being held responsible, de Villiers replied: "Yes, I did".

De Villiers was embroiled in a lengthy and animated discussion with the two umpires after the 33rd over of England's innings, when the two umpires got together to check the condition of the ball.

"I was quite upset about that ... Nothing happened, generally there's a warning or a fine, none of that happened, which tells me they realised we were innocent". "I told the umpires we had nothing to do with the condition of the ball except for the fact that [Keshav] Maharaj bowled five overs on the trot from that end and the ball generally scuffs up when the spinner bowls a few overs". No further steps were taken and we move on.

Having seen his team lose out off the final ball by two runs, de Villiers praised England's bowlers for closing out victory and the series.

It is only six months ago that South Africa Test captain Faf du Plessis was fined his match fee for changing the condition of the ball against Australia in Hobart, in his case using saliva to shine it while sucking on a mint.

"In a way, they made me feel that we were responsible as a team for that".

South Africa needed just 10 runs from the last 10 balls to level things up at 1-1.

Several hours later, it fell to England captain Eoin Morgan to reflect on a success which had become improbable but was closed out by fine death bowling from Jake Ball and then, in the last over, Mark Wood.

"I honestly think it was just a bad ball today. which happens sometimes, the leather comes off sometimes". That was my feeling, unfortunately the umpires did not agree. "I got a bit excited, thought we had it in the bag". Liam Plunkett's cutters accounted for de Villiers and Moeen Ali got rid of de Kock for 98 to leave David Miller and Chris Morris to do what they do best, finishing.

"I thought the boys played a great hand at the end there, to get us so close", he said. "They showed some great skill and good plans.", he added.

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