• Three times the Proteas fell in love with Valentine’s Day

    Thursday, 14 February 2019 was rather good to the Proteas, but there have been other lovable Valentine’s Days.

    Captain Graeme Smith and company needed to win the fifth and final ODI to avoid a series draw with Pakistan – and seamer Shaun Pollock delivered on cue with a telling five-wicket haul, before 71 not outs from batsmen AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis sealed the result.

    Smith perished for a first-ball duck, which made De Villiers’ and Kallis’ unbroken 156-run alliance all the more important.

    Seamer Vernon Philander’s first-innings four-for on day one of the second Test against Pakistan eventually paved the way for Player of the Match Robin Peterson to wrap a four-wicket win – and an unassailable two-nil series lead.

    Peterson scored a lower-order 84, defying a visiting attack spearheaded by tall fast bowler Mohammad Irfan and talismanic spinner Saeed Ajmal for almost three hours at the crease, and took five key wickets.

    Newlands was again the scene, where South Africa defied Englishman Alex Hales’ brisk century to win the five-ODI series. De Villiers matched Hales’ ton, as the Proteas became only the fourth team to recover from a two-nil ODI series deficit to win three-two.

    Both were workmanlike centuries, gathered at less than a run a ball, but De Villiers’ was far more instrumental.

    Photo: Carl Fourie | Gallo Images

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