Quinton de Kock showed maturity and composure in his innings of 98 against England in Southampton on Saturday.
England beat the Proteas by two runs in Southampton on Saturday to clinch the ODI series 2-0. The contest was decided with the final ball when Chris Morris scored a single off Mark Wood. A boundary would have won the game for the visitors and levelled the series.
David Miller (71 not out off 51 balls) and Morris (36 off 22) would have been hailed as heroes if that last delivery was dispatched to the boundary. And yet, the Proteas would never have been in a position to push for a win had De Kock failed up front.
Hashim Amla departed in the 10th over. Faf du Plessis was dismissed not long after that. De Kock was asked to play the anchor role.
De Kock was dropped on 28 by Ben Stokes, and went on to make England pay for the mistake. He scored reasonably quickly en route to 98 (103 balls).
His approach during the middle overs was measured. De Kock and skipper AB de Villiers put on 96 runs for the third wicket. That partnership set the platform for the big hitters at the death.
De Kock may be criticised for losing his wicket at a key time in the South African innings. Yet, it cannot be denied that he made a significant contribution to the run chase.
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