South Africa's AB de Villiers hits out during the ODIâÂÂagainst England in Southampton on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images
South Africa captain AB de Villiers insisted his side had done nothing wrong after they found themselves caught up in a fresh ball-tampering row on Saturday as they lost their one-day international series against England.
The hosts somehow managed to win by two runs at Southampton to go 2-0 up when it seemed South Africa were on the brink of levelling matters ahead of Monday's third and final ODI at Lord's.
As if that was not bad enough for the tourists, de Villiers thought he might be accused of ball-tampering during England's innings After the 33rd over, it appeared he was trying to get the ball changed.
But de Villiers later revealed he was in fact insisting to umpires Chris Gaffaney and Rob Bailey that the Proteas were not responsible for illegally altering its condition.
The vexed issue of ball-tampering is particularly emotive for South Africa given that Test skipper Faf du Plessis was fined his match fee by the International Cricket Council in November for shining the ball using saliva generated by sucking on a mint during the Proteas's second Test win over Australia in Hobart.
On Saturday, de Villiers felt his side risked being accused once again, although he added the fact the umpires did not in the end change the ball was proof of the Proteas' innocence. Asked at a post-match news conference if he felt he was being held responsible, de Villiers replied: "Yes, I did." He added: "The umpires felt the condition of the ball changed, in a way making me feel we were responsible as a team."
England 330-6 in 50 overs (B Stokes 101, E Morgan 45; K Rabada 2-50) beat South Africa 328-5 in 50 overs (Q de Kock 98, A de Villiers 52; L Plunkett 3-64) by two runs
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