Faf du Plessis: Kane Williamson let-off not the decisive factor in defeat

Captain Faf du Plessis says South Africa's failure to use the DRS to remove Kane Williamson was not where the contest was lost.

Faf du Plessis defended Quinton de Kock after Kane Williamson capitalised on a stroke of luck to consign South Africa to a Cricket World Cup defeat at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

The Proteas' hopes of qualifying for the semifinals took another shattering blow when they suffered a four-wicket loss at the hands of a Williamson-inspired Black Caps side in Birmingham. Williamson made an unbeaten 106 as New Zealand reached its victory target of 242 with three balls to spare, putting it a step closer to the last four.

REPORT | Four-wicket win for New Zealand

South Africa was sloppy in the field and would have had Williamson caught behind if it had reviewed when the captain got a faint edge on Imran Tahir's final delivery when he was in the 70s. There was no reaction from de Kock after he took the catch as Tahir appealed, but captain du Plessis said the wicketkeeper-batsman was not to blame.

"We weren't aware of it. I think I was at long-on at the time, and Quinny is the closest to the action. He's always my go to man," du Plessis told a news conference.

'Twenty runs short'

"I just heard about it now at the post-match [presentation] that he said he had a nick on it. But even Kane said he didn't know. He would have referred it. So that's not where the game was won and lost. We had, I think, 20 runs short, and then we had one or two really, really tough half chances.

"If it was a perfect game, we took that and Kane was out, the game would have been really tight. But for me, that's not the difference today."

HIGHLIGHTS | NZ v SA

Rassie van der Dussen and Hashim Amla made half-centuries, but du Plessis felt South Africa fell short with the bat by posting 241 for 6. He added: "We've been saying, and we've been hard on ourselves in that as well…we need guys to stand up and put in performances that will win you games.

"That has been where we've been short in the innings we've played so far. The one with Quinny getting 60 or 70 the previous game is signs of that, but we still want more."