All-round Phehlukwayo, Dussen help Proteas level ODI series with Pakistan

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Rassie van der Dussen struck his second fifty on the bounce.

South Africa bounced back in the five-match series against Pakistan in style with a five-wicket win in the second ODI at Durban on Tuesday.

Trailing 0-1 in the series after their loss at Port Elizabeth, the hosts levelled matters following a fine bowling performance that saw them dismiss Pakistan for 203 runs. The Proteas ultimately chased down the target with eight overs to spare to take victory.

Here, we look at the key talking points from the clash.

SHAMSI, PACERS ROCK PAKISTAN’S TOP-ORDER

Pakistan’s batting had looked imperious in the series opener but the batsmen were unable to repeat those heroics at Durban with South Africa’s pacers giving them a tough examination early on.

After scoring 87 in the Port Elizabeth win, Imam-ul-Haq could only muster five on Tuesday as he became Kagiso Rabada’s first victim. The Proteas pacer also accounted for Pakistan’s ODI stalwart Babar Azam cheaply to give the hosts a roaring start with the ball.

Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez fell early too to Duanne Olivier and Andile Phehlukwayo respectively as Pakistan slumped to 58-4.

Once the pacers had done the early damage, it was the turn of Tabraiz Shamsi to take control in the middle with the spinner breaking the back of Pakistan’s batting with three quick scalps. Shamsi sent back three of Pakistan’s all-rounders in Shadab Khan, Hussain Talat and Faheem Ashraf to have the visitors rocking at 112-8.

A four-wicket haul for Andile Phehlukwayo.

A four-wicket haul for Andile Phehlukwayo.

HASAN ALI, SARFRAZ SPARK PAKISTAN REVIVAL

The writing seemed to be on the wall for the Men in Green as they slumped to 112-8 but they were then provided with an unexpected lift from the bat of pacer Hasan Ali.

The lower-order batsman took the attack to South Africa’s bowlers upon his arrival to the crease as he entertained the Kingsmead crowd with some sensational hitting.

Ali struck three fours and as many sixes as he brought up his second ODI half-century off just 38 balls and was the last Pakistan batsman to be dismissed for 59. He provided skipper Sarfraz Ahmed with some excellent support with their record 90-run stand for the ninth wicket.

Sarfraz battled his way to 41 at the other end with the duo lifting Pakistan’s total beyond the 200-run mark with some excellent rearguard batting. It was this partnership which was responsible for keeping Pakistan in the game after the early collapse and it was ultimately ended by Phehlukwayo.

Hasan Ali struck his second ODI half-century.

Hasan Ali struck his second ODI half-century.

SENSATIONAL AFRIDI AND SHADAB GIVE PAKISTAN HOPE

A total of just 203 was never going to be an easy one to defend for Pakistan but they were given a massive boost in that regard by teenager Shaheen Afridi. The left-arm pacer took three early wickets in a brilliant display of swing and control at Durban to reduce South Africa to 29-3.

Having missed out on selection in the first ODI somewhat unjustifiably after his man-of-the-series display against New Zealand, Afridi gave further glimpses oh his immense potential by removing both Proteas openers and skipper Faff du Plessis inside six overs.

David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen then briefly steadied the ship for the hosts before their 41-run stand was broken by Shadab Khan. The Pakistan leg-spinner struck with just his second over to have Miller caught at midwicket before castled the stumps of Heinrich Klaasen with the very next delivery.

Shadab’s twin strikes put the game finely in the balance with South Africa slumping to 80-5 with their best batsmen back in the pavilion.

Young Afridi was sensational in his opening spell.

Young Afridi was sensational in his opening spell.

ALL-ROUND PHEHLUKWAYO AND DUSSEN RESCUE HOSTS

At 80-5, it was all of a sudden anyone’s game with Pakistan’s bowlers sniffing blood. However, the hosts were rescued by Rassie van der Dussen who struck his second consecutive half-century in the series.

Playing in only his second ODI, Dussen curtailed the aggression he displayed at Port Elizabeth in a mature innings to dig his side out of a tricky spot. After scoring a 93 on his ODI debut, the right-hander followed it up with an unbeaten 80 at Durban to help the hosts level matters.

He was perfectly complimented by Phehlukwayo who followed up his four-wicket haul earlier in the day with a fine half-century. He was given a reprieve by Shadab before bringing up his fifty but his superb contributions with both bat and ball will have gone a long way in establishing his claim to the all-rounder’s slot for the ICC World Cup in England.

Together, the pair put on unbeaten stand of 127 runs to extinguish Pakistan’s faint hopes of a win and set up the series perfectly for the final three clashes.

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