The Proteas posted 266-2 thanks to a ton from Hashim Amla and a debut half-century from Rassie van der Dussen in the first ODI against Pakistan.
The Proteas got their innings off to a fluid start as Reeza Hendricks and Hashim Amla put pressure on the Pakistan bowlers, racking up an 82-run opening stand.
Hendricks led the attack, scoring freely against the seamers, hitting five fours for his 67-ball 45 before he attempted to take on the spinner a little too hastily and mistimed a sweep shot that swirled in the Port Elizabeth wind to Hasan Ali at midwicket.
Amla’s job was now to take the pressure off the debutant, Rassie van der Dussen, who took six balls to get off the mark. The pressure was lifted slightly when Amla brought up his 37th half-century off 52 balls.
Van der Dussen trotted away, stacking up a number of singles, but with the Proteas only on 160-1 by 35 overs, the batsmen needed to up the ante in order to post a defendable score.
Van der Dussen smashed a six over midwicket to bring up a maiden half-century off 65 balls that included five fours and a six.
Pakistan continued to squeeze the Proteas effectively as the run rate remained at under five an over, which saw the hosts sitting on 190-1 by the end of the 40th over. The pair continued to knock singles around before, with eight overs left, Van der Dussen opened up and hit a six and a four as South Africa took 13 runs off Usman Shinwari’s eighth over. The pair went back into their shell after this brief onslaught, scoring five singles in the 44th over.
Van der Dussen showed unselfishness as he looked to score quickly instead of playing cautiously in the hope of hitting a debut century, and as a result lost his wicket after scoring 93 from 101 balls (six fours, three sixes). His superb debut innings included being part of a 155-run partnership with Amla, the latter proceeding to his 27th ODI century with a six off the last ball of the 47th over, which also took the Proteas score past 250. Amla’s previous ODI century came 13 innings ago against Bangladesh on 15 October 2017.
David Miller was moved up the order for the final flurry, but he only managed to contribute two fours in his 12-ball score of 16 as the Proteas set Pakistan a reachable target of 267 for the win.
South Africa – Hashim Amla (108 not out), Rassie van der Dussen (93); Shadab Khan (1-41), Hasan Ali (1-42).
Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images