A fantastic all round performance from Andile Phehlukwayo helped South Africa level the series in Durban as they beat Pakistan by five wickets at Kingsmead. The Dolphins star first took 4/22 with the ball, his best ever bowling figures in LOI cricket and followed it with an unbeaten 69, also highest ever ODI score for the Proteas, as a KZN crowd of 11,297 saw the home side chase down 204 with eight overs to spare.
South Africa made two changes, dropping Dwaine Pretorius and Imran Tahir and bringing in Dane Paterson and Tabraiz Shamsi as they switched to a 6-1-4 from the 6-2-3 employed in Port Elizabeth. Like the Proteas, Pakistan also chose to bring in two new faces, with CT Blitz star Hussain Talat and young left arm quick Shaheen Shah Afridi replacing Imad Wasim and Usman Shinwari respectively.
Skipper Faf chose to bowl first and his decision seemed to be justified as his bowlers struck at regular intervals. Pakistan were never quite able to string together a partnership of note and quickly slumped to 112/8. However skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, who had demoted himself to 8, and tail ender Hasan Ali added a 90 run stand for the 9th wicket, beating the previous best set by Shoaib Malik and Mohd Shami over a decade ago. Ali was in particular entertaining, hitting five fours and three sixes as Pakistan were able to get themselves to a competitive total. Both Sarfaraz and he were removed in the 46th over by Phehlukwayo, with skipper Faf du Plessis taking a stunning catch on the boundary to end the visitor’s innings.
South Africa have displayed a level of vulnerability with the bat in recent years, and young Shaheen picked up three at the top for virtually nothing as he sent Hendricks, Amla and du Plessis back to the pavillion to leave South Africa reeling at 29/3. Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller steadied things before Shadab Khan got rid of the latter and Heinrick Klaasen in successive balls as the Proteas slumped to 80/5.
That brought Phehlukwayo to the crease, and he set about repairing the damage with Van der Dussen. The Dolphins all rounder enjoyed his share of luck, managing to overturn what looked like a plumb LBW early his innings, and having two catches put down, but got into his groove and smashed Mohammad Hafeez out of the attack with two huge hits in the same over. There were other occasions where the ball found air where it would normally have found a fielder, and Sarfaraz cut a frustrated figure behind the stumps.
At the other end Van der Dussen remained calm, with barely a single false shot as he reached his second successive ODI fifty. Pakistan tried their best, but the pair remained unremovable, and they added an unbroken 127 run stand for the sixth wicket to guide the Proteas to a memorable win.
Phehlukwayo, who had done something similar with David Miller at this very venue three years ago, was named Man of the Match.