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Stand-in captain David Miller was the star of the show as the hosts wrapped up the 2nd T20 International series with a seven-run win at The BidVest Wanderers stadium yesterday. In a rain-affected match, the Proteas finished their 20 overs having totalled 188 runs for the loss of just three wickets. Miller was top of the score board with an unbeaten 65 off 29 deliveries at the backend of the innings. The Proteas won by seven runs to clinch the three-match series 2-0 with the final game to be played at SuperSport Park on Wednesday. Here is Miller with his thoughts of the game.
Pakistan stand-in captain Shoaib Malik says he was told moments before the fourth ODI at Bidvest Wanderers that he would be leading the side after the four match ban handed to Captain Ahmed Sarfraz for racially abusing Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo. Malik says losing the last two games to the Proteas was irritating for the team and that the bowlers set the tone for their eight wicket victory against the South Africans.
Proteas captain Faf du Plessis says the racial slur saga involving Pakistan captain Ahmed Sarfraz during the second ODI in Durban on Tuesday is a matter that the International Cricket Council must handle. Du Plessis, though, says that players should be wary of the things they say especially matters of a racial nature in South Africa. The ICC is investigating the matter and Sarfraz seems set to continue playing and is likely to lead the team in today’s ODI at SuperSport Park in Centurion. Du Plessis also confirmed that the Proteas have forgiven Sarfraz for his comments even though they did not hear comments including allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo who the slur was supposedly directed at. Du Plessis stated that such comments are not to be taken lightly and should not be brushed under the carpet.
The Pakistan cricket team has closed ranks and refused to make comments about the racial slur saga that has engulfed their captain Ahmed Sarfraz. The 18-year-old fast bowler Shaheen Afridi was left to face the media at SuperSport Park in Centurion today, the day before the third ODI but Afridi refused to answer questions on whether Sarfraz would be available for tomorrow’s match. A member of the Pakistan management present at the press conference tried to stop journalists from asking questions about the Sarfraz incident and said they “don’t know what is going on". Afridi says the team is not disappointed at losing the second ODI against the Proteas in Durban on Tuesday and that they are prepared for the third match in Centurion today.
Andile Phehlukwayo described his performance as the best in a Proteas jersey after starring with bat and ball as South Africa levelled their five-match one-day international series against Pakistan with a five-wicket win in Durban last night. The young all-rounder first claimed four for 22 with the ball as the tourists were shot out for 203. He then hit an unbeaten 69 off 80 balls and shared in an unbroken 127-run partnership with Rassie van der Dussen, who made 80, as the hosts won with 48 balls to spare. Phehlukwayo was over the moon afterwards.
Proteas opener Reeza Hendricks has defended their batting in the opening one-day international against Pakistan over the weekend, saying everyone is ready to bounce back and level the five-match series when the second game takes place in Durban today (Tuesday, 22 January 2019). South Africa lost the first game by five wickets in Port Elizabeth, a performance which drew criticism for their batting on a slow St George’s Park pitch. They only managed a score of 266 for two and were blasted for not showing more intent. But Hendricks defended the way they played.
Proteas fast bowler Duanne Olivier feels like he has cemented his place in the team after his series conquering 24 wickets against Pakistan in the recently concluded three match series. Olivier had come into the Proteas set-up after an injury to Vernon Philander prior to the opening Test of the series and the Knights bowler has not looked back since. Olivier came within one wicket of equalling Charlie Llewelyn 116 year old record of taking 25 wickets in a three Test match series. But the Knights bowler says he wasn’t focused on the record but rather on doing the basics right.
Proteas stand-in captain Dean Elgar says his side achieved their goals with a 3 nil series whitewash of Pakistan after winning the third and final Test by 107 runs at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium today. Elgar says that while they had always anticipated that Pakistan would be a stubborn opposition, they had always backed themselves to do well in the series. The Proteas have now jumped up to second place on the ICC Test rankings, six points adrift of first placed India and two points ahead of England who are in third place.Elgar believes the Proteas have shown improvements since their last series at home against Australia last year and cited their ability to adapt to conditions particularly in having a bowling attack with four seamers and without a spinner. At the same time Elgar says there is still room for improvement especially for their batsmen who need to start scoring centuries.
Dolphins coach Grant Morgan says that blooding young players for next season is his main priority over the next three games of their 4-Day Domestic Series after their chances of winning the title ended earlier last week. The Durban side lost to the Lions on Monday, 07 January 2019, to stay rooted to the bottom of the table. It has been a forgettable campaign on the whole and Morgan says the luck they had in the last game summed up their competition thus far.
Cape Cobras batsman Zubayr Hamza is relishing the opportunity of making his Test debut for the Proteas in the third Test against Pakistan at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Friday. The 23-year-old Hamza could come in for suspended captain Faf du Plessis and while not getting ahead of himself, Hamza admits that he is excited at the prospect of being named in the team.
Ahead of the third and final test against Pakistan, starting on Friday (11 January 2019) at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, the Proteas’ coach Ottis Gibson says that if South Africa want to be the number one test nation in the world, they must make their home a fortress. South Africa beat Pakistan by 9 wickets in the second test at Newlands on Sunday (06 January 2019) to go 2-0 up in the three match series, their seventh consecutive home series win. Gibson says they are proud of their home record, and he would like to see them continue the trend in the final test, and in the series against Sri Lanka that follows.
The cricket services manager at Cricket South Africa (CSA), Edward Khoza has insisted that his organisation will continue to support the annual Ngumbela Cricket Tournament. The event is organised by Eastern Cape businessman Mthetheleli Ngumbela and is played at Ngumbela Park in Healdtown from mid-December until the first week of January. Khoza was speaking after Saturday’s (05 January 2019) final where Township United Brothers from Ntselamanzi in Alice beat Fear Not from Healdtown by three wickets. Ngumbela said he was both pleased and happy with the success of the tournament and the way it was supported, people came from as far as Port Elizabeth and East London. The former CSA chief executive officer Gerald Majola, Boxing South Africa (BSA) manager in Port Elizabeth Mthunzi Mapitiza and former Premier Soccer League (PSL) general manager Ace Ncobo were among the spectators.