New Delhi: David Miller received the Player of the Match award for his fielding skills that helped South Africa defeat Pakistan in the first T20I at Cape Town on Friday.
Pakistan fell short of seven runs as they chased South Africa’s target of 193 at the Newlands Stadium.
Miller, who failed with the bat as he scored just 10 runs off 12 balls, took four catches and effected two run-outs and ensured the visitors did not cross the line successfully.
South posted a gigantic total of 192 runs on the board as Reeza Hendricks and Faf du Plessis put in a partnership of 121 runs for the second wicket. With the scores of 74 and 78 respectively, Hendricks and Du Plessis aggregated enough runs to put a monumental task in front of Shoaib Malik’s men.
Although the tourists did manage to put in decent partnerships in between, Miller’s heroics in the field didn’t just limit Pakistan’s chase to 186 runs but also earned him the title of ‘fielding all-rounder’.
It all started with the run-out of Babar Azam, while Pakistani batsmen including Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali and Imad Wasim couldn’t help but find the same fielder no matter where they hit their shots. The run-out was followed by the three catches of Malik, Asif and Imad before Mohammad Rizwan became the victim of another Miller run-out.
Soon after, Hasan Ali gave another catch to the 29-year-old who earned the record of most dismissals by a South African in the T20I format, for an outfield player (other than the wicket-keeper). With the bat, however, Miller wasn’t able to do much as he could only muster up 10 runs before being dismissed by Faheem Ashraf.
It isn’t the first instance where a player has won Man of the Match award for his fielding, especially for South Africa, with Proteas great Jonty Rhodes famous for putting in such shifts in the field, match in, match out.
Pakistan had claimed all 11 of their previous T20I wins while chasing. The defeat not just brings an end to this incredible run but also puts the Proteas in pole position to put an end to their opponents’ run of 11 consecutive T20I series wins.