A superb bowling and fielding display by Andile Phehlukwayo and David Miller put paid to a highly competitive Pakistan side as the Proteas took a 1-0 lead in the T20I series with a six-run victory at Newlands, writes SIMON LEWIS.
A comedy of errors in the 16th over of Pakistan’s innings was the catalyst for Pakistan losing their first T20I in 10 matches. Pakistan were on course for the win after 10 overs, but the loss of a couple of wickets saw them lose ground on the run rate. With the last ball of the 16th over, Andile Phehlukwayo, who had bowled superbly in the evening, got Shoaib Malik to sky a catch to Beuran Hendricks at short third man.
Hendricks dropped the relatively simple catch (he gestured to indicate he had lost the ball in the floodlights), shied at the stumps in the hope of redeeming himself with a run-out. The throw missed the stumps and the batsmen turned for a second, but David Miller collected at deep mid-on and threw down the stumps to run out Mohammad Rizwan for two.
It was Miller’s second run-out of the evening after his underarm effort had caught Babar Azam out of his crease after a well-played 38 off 27 balls (3×4, 1×6). For Phehlukwayo, the run-out was the end of a marvellous night of bowling in which he ‘owned’ the Pakistan batsmen, bowling with fire and control to pick up 1-27 (econ 6.75).
Pakistan kept the fight going right until the end, but controlled bowling by the Proteas, and a steady flow of wickets saw the Proteas home for a brilliant six-run win, testament to a terrific Proteas performance in the field after a very strong batting display.
After this performance with the ball, Phehlukwayo has proven himself (to anyone who still doubts him) to be a world-class all-rounder, and crucially, a danger man with the ball. World Cup 2019 awaits with bated breath for what Andile will produce on the biggest stage in world cricket.
Although it has been Miller Lite Time in terms of runs of late for SA’s left-handed danger-batsman, Player of the Match David Miller’s work in the field (he had two run-outs with direct hits and held four catches) at Newlands has shown the value he brings to the Proteas. When one adds his balance as a power-hitting left-hander to the batting line-up, plus his ability to produce big innings when he has enough overs available, then his name is another that has surely been inked on to the selectors’ team sheet for CWC 2019 after tonight’s performance.
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