David Miller chips in with 56-ball 50 in 116-run stand with van der Dussen for the fifth wicket
Innings South Africa 273 for 6 (van der Dussen 123*, Miller 50, Afridi 2-61) vs Pakistan
Rassie van der Dussen scored his first international hundred in his 22nd ODI – to go with eight Tests and 18 T20Is – to hold South Africa together against a Pakistan attack that had reduced them to 55 for 4 at one stage and kept the run rate at under five an over for large parts of the innings.
van der Dussen batted from the seventh over through to the end of the innings and paced his innings well: he took time to settle in, shared in a steady 116-run fifth-wicket stand with David Miller, dropped anchor as Andile Phehlukwayo accelerated, and then finished strongly. In the end, South Africa fell just short of what new white-ball captain Temba Bavuma said they were aiming for: “a minimum of 280”. That, as Babar Azam indicated Pakistan would be happy to keep South Africa below 275.
They were both in the ball park. In six domestic List A day matches played at this venue since 2019, there have been five totals of 250-plus, including two over 300, and only twice has the team batting first lost. Pakistan are required to equal the second highest chase in day matches to take the series lead.
On a surface that was expected to play a little slower than usual, South Africa’s new opening pair of Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram gave themselves two overs to have a sighter before taking on the new-ball pair. de Kock opened his account with a drive through extra cover off Shaheen Shah Afridi, while Markram took the first runs off Mohammad Hasnain with a back-foot drive in the same area. de Kock also hit the first six of the innings, but did not look as though he was timing the ball particularly well, and two overs later, when he tried it again, he hit Afridi straight to Azam at mid-off. Two balls later, Markram chipped a catch to Faheem Ashraf at mid-on.
That gave Bavuma an opportunity to go big in his first match in charge, but he played a shot to forget, giving Afridi catching practice at third man off a Hasnain short ball, the fourth that he faced. Hasnain thought he had a second when Heinrich Klaasen was given out lbw off the next ball, but the review revealed an inside-edge. Instead, it was Afridi who could have had another when he found van der Dussen’s outside edge but Asif Ali, at second slip, could not hold on to a tough chance. van der Dussen had not scored a run at that stage.
Pakistan may not have rued the missed chance then because they rocked South Africa early and the new batsmen struggled to get going. After South Africa scored 34 runs off the first six overs, they managed just 10 in the next five, and lost three wickets. van der Dussen’s first run came off the eighth ball he faced, and Klaasen off the 19th, and it was his only one. Off the 21st ball he faced, he tried to cut Ashraf off the back foot but edged behind.
Shaheen Shah Afridi sent back the South Africa openers in the same over AFP/Getty Images
At 55 for 4, South Africa were in danger of appearing a batsman or two short, but van der Dussen and Miller built steadily against a consistently threatening Pakistan attack. Haris Rauf drew a leading edge from van der Dussen that fell safe over backward point, and beat him with bounce too. Miller had more success against Rauf and took advantage of any slight width or errors in length and batted him out of the attack.
Azam brought Afridi back in the 21st over to try and force a breakthrough, then turned to Hasnain and eventually even to debutant Danish Aziz, who bowled three overs of left-arm spin. It was off Aziz’s bowling that van der Dussen and Miller took just about the only risk of the middle overs when van der Dussen swept a ball to third man, took off for the run, Miller didn’t respond at first and then had to and they both ended up at the striker’s end. The throw was in at the keeper’s end when van der Dussen decided he would sacrifice himself, but he made it to the other side before Mohammad Rizwan could get the ball to Aziz.
van der Dussen reached his fifty the ball before that, with a cut past point for four, and Miller reached his fifty, off 52 balls in the next. Their partnership grew to 116 runs after that, and with 15 overs left and Rauf back, they would have been eyeing an acceleration. van der Dussen pulled Rauf for four but then Miller swished at a delivery that didn’t bounce as much as he expected and edged to Rizwan, who took the catch even as the ball died on him. Rauf was not spared for long, though, as Phehlukwayo wasted no time pulling the first delivery he faced from him for four.
South Africa crawled to 200 in the 42nd over before deciding to let loose. Phehlukwayo hit an Afridi low full toss to long-on and then inside-edged him for four more before van der Dussen entered the 90s when he cleared the front leg to dispatch Hasnain for six. They were on 230 for 5 as the last five overs began and lost Phehlukwayo to a Rauf slower ball but had van der Dussen to the end.
His hundred came with a single off Rauf and freed him up for some big shots. Two balls later he tried to clear midwicket and was caught on the boundary but the fielder overbalanced and had to throw the ball back in before he stumbled over the rope. van der Dussen scored 23 off the last 11 balls he faced and South Africa managed 43 off the last five overs.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
Source Link : https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/pakistan-tour-of-south-africa-2021-1251556/south-africa-vs-pakistan-1st-odi-1251572/match-report
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