South Africa’s stand-in skipper David Miller struggled to control his nerves against Pakistan in second T20I on February 3. The exciting contest boiled down to the very last over with all three results possible. As Pakistan were on top of their game, the inexperienced captain had a tough time managing his resources.
In the post-match presentation Miller said:
“I thought I was the worst captain on the planet. I didn’t know what to do, to be honest. They were always going to come hard and try to get as many runs in the powerplay. We didn’t start too well with the ball, we were a bit wide and short.”
Miller scored 65 in 29 balls in the first innings, taking the hosts to a fighting total of 188 for 3 at the Wanderers stadium, Johannesburg. With a target of 189 in front of them, Pakistan were expected to be under pressure but Babar Azam took the attack to the Proteas bowlers. Miller’s strategy to change the bowler after every over backfired as he seemed clueless after Pakistan got off to a flying start, scoring 70 runs in the powerplay overs.
It was debutant Lutho Sipamala who controlled the proceedings and brought South Africa back into the game. He didn’t take a wicket but barely gave any loose deliveries, keeping the pressure on. After Azam (90 off 58 balls) and Hussain Talat’s (55 off 41 balls) 102-run stand was broken in the 17th over, Pakistan kept losing wickets.
However, the visitors were still in the game. But they lost 6 wickets in a matter of 33 runs as Pakistan middle order lacked maturity to finish the job. Andile Phehlukwayo was the standout bowler at the death defending 15 runs in the last over.
“It got quite tight and stressful at the back end but the guys pulled through and did incredibly well. Shamsi came in and bowled incredibly well, brought the run-rate down, and Sipamla was absolutely incredible on his first game. As a captain I was really pleased with the two of them and then to top it off with the guys at the back end was really sweet,” Miller added
The left-handed explosive batsman got his second ‘Player of the match’ award in the series. He made up for his ordinary performance with the bat in the first T20I by scoring a lightning-fast fifty in the second T20I.