Proteas stand-in captain David Miller hailed his side’s death bowlers Andile Phehlukwayo and Chris Morris as they clinched the T20I series against Pakistan.
Miller smashed an unbeaten 65 off 29 balls at the Wanderers in the second T20, including 28 off the final over, to help the Proteas to 188/3.
Their defence of the total got off to the worst start possible as the visitors raced to 147/1 on the back of a blitz of 90 by opener Babar Azam.
But Morris and Phehlukwayo took two wickets apiece in the penultimate and final overs to leave the Pakistanis seven runs short of victory and out of the series with tomorrow’s last T20 at Centurion left to play.
Going into the final over, Pakistan needed 15 runs, but allrounder Andile conceded just seven and claimed two wickets in the bargain.
Miller says of the bowling effort: “In that last over, Andile kept telling me ‘Don’t worry, I’ve got this. Don’t worry, I’ve got this’, so I left him to his plans and he pulled it off.
“The first six overs were more stressful than the back four; the guys bowled incredibly well after the start we had.
“It doesn’t get better as a player. You prepare for moments like that, you long for them, because it’s so rewarding.
“Credit goes to [Andile], he’s been prepping really well... he’s got a level head, a lot of variations, and he pulled them out.”
Aside from the death bowlers, debutants Janneman Malan and Lutho Sipamla also impressed.
Cape Cobras opening batsman Malan made 33 off 31 balls and Warriors seamer Sipamla was SA’s most economical bowler, conceding just 23 runs in his four overs, as he built up the pressure on the Pakistani chasers.
And Miller adds: “It’s very, very satisfying. There are a lot of new guys in the side, two guys playing in their first game today.
“[Lutho] Sipamla bowled incredibly well, and [Janneman] Malan showed that he belonged here.”