Rassie van der Dussen and Andile Phehlukwayo struck crucial half-centuries as the Proteas claimed a five-wicket win against Pakistan in the second ODI at Kingsmead. KHALID MOHIDIN reports.
After winning the toss and electing to field first, the Proteas bowled phenomenally as a unit to restrict Pakistan. The slow Kingsmead pitch made life difficult for Pakistan as they struggled to find boundaries in the first half of their innings.
A collective performance from the Proteas bowlers utilised the spongy strip by bowling in good areas at the top of off-stump and mixing it up with the occasional short ball, a game plan the Pakistan batsmen struggled to deal with.
The Proteas managed to knock the visitors to eight down for 112 runs after 34 overs, but a fight-back from Hasan Ali and Sarfaraz Ahmed boosted the visitors to 203. The pair strung together 90 for the ninth wicket before Sarfaraz was dismissed for 41, followed by Hasan after a brilliant 45-ball 59.
Andile Phehlukwayo was the chief destroyer for the Proteas with career-best figures of 4-22 that included the key wickets of Sarfaraz and Hasan.
Pakistan needed quick wickets to stand a chance of victory and they got the perfect start when 18-year-old speedster Shaheen Afridi ripped through the South African top order. It seemed as though the youngster was bowling on a completely different track with the swing he was producing.
His amazing spell started with an inswinger that removed Hashim Amla’s middle stump for eight in the second over. He struck again by removing Reeza Hendricks in the fourth over as the Proteas were reduced to 15-2. Shaheen then took a third in his third over, tempting Faf du Plessis (eight) into a drive which he edged to the keeper to reduce the Proteas to 29-3.
David Miller (31) and Rassie van der Dussen got stuck in to take the Proteas to the 80-run mark by the 14th over, before Miller chipped Shadab Khan to Imam-ul-Haq at short mid-wicket. Klaasen was also dismissed by Shadab when he misjudged the flight of the spin, which saw the ball crash into his off stump for a first-ball duck.
The Proteas were in need of a saviour, and two stepped up in the form of Van der Dussen and Phehlukwayo. The pair strung together the highest six-wicket partnership (127) at Kingsmead.
Van der Dussen (80 off 123 balls, 9×4) completed a consecutive half-century following his 93 on debut, while Phehlukwayo (69 off 80 balls, 7×4, 2×6) scored a maiden half-century.
The five-wicket win levelled the five-match series at 1-1.
Phehlukwayo was named the Player of the Match for his overall performance, while Van der Dussen’s performance should strengthen his cause for a World Cup spot.
Pakistan 203 – Hasan Ali (59), Sarfaraz Ahmed (41); Tabraiz Shamsi (3-56), Andile Phehlukwayo (4-22)
Proteas 207-5 – Rassie van der Dussen (80), Andile Phehlukwayo (69); Shaheen Afridi (3-43)
Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images
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