South Africa managed to break the winning streak of Pakistan in the T20 International by winning the three-match T20I series 2-1 at home on Sunday (3rd February).
It was first T20I series loss for the Men in Green following their 11 consecutive series wins, though, the touring side managed to avoid a whitewash in the rainbow nation by winning the third and final T20I by 27 runs at SuperSport Park, Centurion on Wednesday (6th February).
In the virtual final in Johannesburg, Proteas star bowler Andile Phehlukwayo played a difference, snatched the match from Pakistan by successfully defending the 15 runs in the final over to win the second T20I and series as well for the hosts.
His ability to bowl accurate slower balls with a deceptive yorker makes him a challenging bowler for batsmen, and Phehlukwayo did the same in Johannesburg, where he took 3 wickets and conceding only 7 runs in the final over, saying he always 'enjoys' tough situations at the death.
The 22-year-old revealed that he has learned how to expose high-pressure situations from his then-Dolphins coach Lance Klusener and that training is bearing fruit now at the international stage.
Phehlukwayo told media, “I always land up in those situations, I really enjoy them. At the Dolphins I was put into those positions a lot when Lance was there and so you learn to take responsibility and ownership. I’ve learned a lot; there are aspects of my game that need to improve. The player I was three years ago and the player I am now, I guess a lot of the mental stuff is different, or better.”
He further added, “Every player wants to win big moments, it won’t always go your way, but the more often you are in those situations, the more you will get it right. If you train hard and get the basics right then more often than not it will go your way.”
Meanwhile, the fast bowler is eyeing to make it to the South Africa squad for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, which will get underway from May 30 in England and Wales.
Phehlukwayo signed off by saying, “It’s really crucial, those type of moments will happen in the World Cup... It’s good when we win in these situations, to remember that feeling, but even if we don’t, we need to learn from that, get back in the dressing room and debate what went wrong or right.”
(With ANI Inputs)