Pakistan vs South Africa 2nd ODI – South African all-rounder AL Phehlukwayo scores his maiden fifty to get a comeback in the series. He took 4 wickets and scores 69 (80b) with his partner HE van der Dussen who scores 80(112) in his debut series.
A complementary pair of innings has just about seen South Africa home. Van der Dussen has absorbed pressure and looked very calm, while Phehlukwayo has ridden his luck and reversed the pressure with attacking strokes.
What a start to one-day international cricket van der Dussen has had – 93 on debut, and now a match-winning 80* as South Africa win by five wickets. Also he couldn’t have done it without Andile Phehlukwayo’s career-best 69 not out. Given his efforts with the ball earlier, he’s a good shout for Player of the Match. Together they put on 127 – which is a record for the sixth wicket at this ground, and not too far off South Africa’s best ever. It was enough to overcome Pakistan, despite the early strikes from Afridi and Shadab, and despite the fight shown with the bat by Hasan Ali and Sarfraz Ahmed earlier.
We didn’t get a good start, and we gave away too many soft wickets. Hasan Ali batted really well and put some hope into the team. We had a chance when we had them 80 for 5. But Phehlukwayo and the other batsman batted really well,” says Sarfraz Ahmed.
“I’ve got a role to play,” says Man of the Match Andile Phehlukwayo. “If you hit the deck hard, there was a bit in there. I was a bit nervous to begin with when I batted. Rassie did a good job of calming me down. I stuck to my plans and played with intensity. There was some good chat. Shadab was one of the hardest to pick. At the end of the day, it was good cricket. I’m a positive person, I really like scoring boundaries and making runs.”
“What you’re looking for in a situation like that from two young guys is to learn a lot,” says winning captain Faf du Plessis. “To get through an innings like that will give them a lot. Andile is playing for that no. 7 slot so this was a big innings. In a perfect world, we should have chased 140 or 150, so it was a bit too many. An amazing start to his international career for Rassie. What you look for in new players is composure and calmness at the crease. Tonight was a bit like playing in the subcontinent, hopefully we’ll get a bit of pace in the next pitch. Dale will be back, and so will Quinny. But the great thing about this game was two guys taking their opportunity.”
There’s no harm in an honorable defeat like this. Pakistani team put up a nice fight after they were down to 110/8, and created a match out of nothing. However, oftentimes in recent history, the Pakistani team had capitulated too fleetingly without any fight like in recent Pak-NZ test matches or in Asia cup. That’s the area for improvement for Pakistan.