• Miller magic sparks Newlands win

    David Miller was sensational in the field for South Africa in Cape Town to earn Friday’s Play of the Day award and help the Proteas to secure a nervy win against Pakistan, writes ANITHA MADIKIZELA.

    Miller showed his brilliance and value in the field by executing two direct-hit run-outs, and bagging four fantastic catches to help the home team over the line with a narrow 6-run win to earn himself the Player of the Match award.

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    The Proteas’ left-handed batsman didn’t have a good day with the bat as he fell for a tame 10 off 12 balls in the Proteas innings. His match-winning performance began with a well-executed run-out of Babar Azam when the opener looked to steal a single where none was on offer. Miller made no mistake as he collected the ball and smashed it on to the stumps at the non-striker’s end.

    He followed that up with two superb catches – one at midwicket and the other just inside the long-on boundary – to get rid of the dangerous Asif Ali (13) and Imad Wasim (4) within the span of four balls.

    He was soon back in the action on the last ball of the 17th over to save Beuran Hendricks’ blushes after the fast bowler dropped a sitter off the bowling of Andile Phehlukwayo. Hendricks gathered the ball and attempted a run-out, but the ball was well wide of the stumps and ran on to Miller at midwicket. The Proteas’ fielding ace saw the Pakistani batsmen attempting a second run and had a shy at the stumps, running out Mohammad Rizwan for just two runs at the end of the eventful play.

    Miller’s safe hands came in handy at the back-end of the innings to dismiss Pakistan’s unpredictable lower-order batsman Hassan Ali (11 off 5 balls, 1×6) before he could cause any serious damage to South Africa’s chances.

    He then rounded off his efforts in the field with his fourth catch to dismiss stand-in captain Shoaib Malik for 49 (31 balls, 5×4, 1×6), just as he looked to take the visitors over the 193-run target. 

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    Miller has been invaluable in the field for South Africa, and his four catches at Newlands extend his lead as the Proteas’ leading catch-taker with 41 catches in T20I’s – the injured JP Duminy is a distant second with 34 catches in the format.

    The Proteas face Pakistan again on Sunday at the Wanderers in the second T20I of the three-match series, looking to secure the win and a series victory in the Highveld.


    Photo: Cricket South Africa/Twitter