“The white ball series’ were very close and could have gone either way, it was close in the One-Dayers and T20s, South Africa just played the crunch moments better,”
South Africa emerged from a few tight spots in the T20 series against Pakistan still breathing and ultimately triumphant.
That is something, as the Proteas stand-in captain Dave Miller mentioned on Wednesday night, from which the players could draw confidence. And Miller went on to reiterate that it wasn’t just the players who took to the field, but everyone involved with South African cricket.
“Every series win is a milestone, and this one against the No 1 T20 team in the world is a huge one,” said Miller. “There were two guys (Lutho Sipamla and Janneman Malan) who played their first games at the weekend and showed a huge amount of class.”
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur acknowledged that South Africa recognised the important moments quicker and played them better. “The white ball series’ were very close and could have gone either way, it was close in the One-Dayers and T20s, South Africa just played the crunch moments better,” said Arthur.
At Newlands there was a partnership between Faf du Plessis and Reeza Hendricks, before Chris Morris finished the tourists in the final over with the ball, at the Wanderers two last over performances – one from Miller with the bat, the other from Andile Phehlukwayo with the ball – gave South Africa the series win, and at Centurion, Pakistan’s dominance of the Power Play saw them emerge victorious.
Some South African players advanced their cases for World Cup inclusion. Beuran Hendricks’ career-best 4/14 must put him in the conversation for the spare fast bowling spot. As a left-arm seamer he provides a different angle and his form and fitness have been good in the last 18 months.
Chris Morris, not always trusted by the side’s hierarchy, produced with both ball – at Newlands and the Wanderers – and bat – at SuperSport Park where he scored 55 off 29 balls – to show the kind of explosiveness that a World Cup squad might find useful.