All-round Phehlukwayo stars for SA to level series

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Andile Phehlukwayo followed career-best ODI bowling figures of 4/22 with an unbeaten 69 to help South Africa to a five-wicket win in the second ODI against Pakistan in Durban.

The all-rounder and Rassie van der Dussen teamed up for a sixth-wicket partnership of 127 runs which helped South Africa recover from the precarious position of 80/5 to what resulted in a comfortable win, the target of 204 chased down with eight overs left to play.

Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to field, a decision that was vindicated early on. An abysmal first 15 overs for Pakistan’s batting line-up seemed to sucker away the momentum that had emerged from their win in the first ODI, as South Africa’s seamers ran riot to have the visitors reeling at 58/4.

Shadab Khan emerged at No. 6 in the order, tasked with a re-building job alongside Shoaib Malik. Early signs hinted at promise, but an attempted sweep on 18 off of Tabraiz Shamsi was ill-timed, travelling into the hands of van der Dussen, who collected comfortably running in from deep midwicket.

The wily left-arm wrist-spin of Shamsi proved to be a troubling second act after the damage of the pacers. Hussain Talat’s ODI debut was uneventful, stumped by Heinrich Klaasen for two as he fell victim to some wonderful flight and guile, while Faheem Ashraf (0) was out lbw after he failed to read a well-delivered googly.

At 112/8, all hope appeared lost. What followed was some outrageous hitting from the live-wire Hassan Ali, five fours coming alongside three outrageous sixes. A second ODI fifty arrived from just 38 balls, a most crucial knock in trying circumstances.

At the other end Sarfaraz (41) accumulated in a quiet but effective manner, as Pakistan passed the 200 mark. His stay eventually came to an end as Phehlukwayo spoiled Pakistan’s resurgence with a straight delivery that went through the gate.

The South Africa pacer finished proceeding after Ali (59) holed out to Faf du Plessis at long on, with Pakistan failing to bat out the allotted 50 overs.

Despite a total of just 203, Ali’s knock seemed to have an inspiring effect on Pakistan’s bowlers as young Shaheen Afridi rattled the home side’s top order with a sensational opening spell.

Hashim Amla (8) was castled first up, before a loose drive from Reeza Hendricks (5) saw him edge to Sarfaraz behind the stumps. Du Plessis (8) followed not long after to have South Africa reeling at 29/3.

Rassie van der Dussen brought up his half-century from 81 balls

David Miller’s counter-attacking ways resulted in a quick-fire 31 but the introduction of Shadab into the attack struck through the heart of the South African resistance. Miller flicked a well-flighted delivery from the 20-year old leg-spinner into the hands of Imam-ul-Haq at short midwicket, before Klaasen was bamboozled by a wrong-un that crashed into his stumps.

At 80/5, Pakistan were well entitled to believe that they were on their way to extending their series lead. Van der Dussen and Phehlukwayo had other ideas, as the pair halted a collapse.

Van der Dussen (80*) followed on from his 93 on debut with a second consecutive half-century, while Phehlukwayo, despite never looking fully comfortable, battled his way through to an unbeaten 69 to level the series 1-1.