• De Kock grateful for second chance

    Opening batsman Quinton de Kock relished the Man of the Match award as South Africa completed a seven-wicket victory – and a 3-2 series triumph – over Pakistan in Wednesday’s fifth and final ODI at Newlands in Cape Town.

    De Kock scored a brisk 83 in the Proteas’ successful pursuit of a 241-run target, with 10 overs to spare. The hard-hitting left-hander’s stay spanned just 58 deliveries – and featured 11 fours and a trio of sixes.

    He would have perished for 16 had seamer Usman Shinwari not bowled a no-ball in the third over of the pursuit. De Kock hit the ball straight to fielder Mohammad Hafeez, but the catch was rightfully deemed redundant.

    ‘The wicket played better in the second innings and I was able to play my shots freely, so I wanted to make full use of it. It was nice to get a second chance. When I got out to the no-ball, I tried to figure out what I needed to get going. I tried to focus on the way the game was going,’ said De Kock.

    De Kock was accompanied by fellow half-centurions Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen in the comfortable win. Du Plessis and van der Dussen struck 50 not out each.

    ‘This is very pleasing for me. The team responded well to a high-stakes game, and this was our best performance of the series. I expected the ball to skid a bit more, but the ball wasn’t coming on. The way Quinton played, it was very difficult to bowl to him and he made it very easy for the rest of the batsmen,’ added Du Plessis.

    South Africa and Pakistan will meet for three T20Is next month. The series opener will be played at the same venue on Friday.

    ‘For the T20Is, we’ll do a bit of resting and rotating. We’ll give some fresh faces the chance to play international cricket,’ concluded Du Plessis.

    Photo: Anton Geyser | Gallo Images

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