Andile Phehlukwayo’s brilliant death bowling in the Proteas’ T20 series-clinching victory over Pakistan at the Wanderers was actually hardly something new.
In fact, the bowling all-rounder has been putting up his hand for one of the hardest responsibilities in the format since he was still a teenager.
Four seasons ago, he was an unheralded 19-year-old in the domestic T20 playoff between the Dolphins and Cape Cobras.
The Capetonians only needed 18 runs from their last three overs.
Phehlukwayo bowled two of those, conceded just seven runs and took two wickets to boot.
The Dolphins won by five.
With far more experience now under the belt, he defended 15 with aplomb at the weekend.
“Andile kept telling me, ‘Don’t worry, I got this; don’t worry, I got this’. So I left him to his plans and he pulled it off,” said the Proteas’ stand-in captain, David Miller, who wasn’t particularly calm himself.
“So, incredible bowling from him.”
It’s merely the latest chapter of a period where Phehlukwayo is establishing himself as one of South Africa’s most reliable performers with the white ball.
“He’s just going from strength to strength. He’s bowled incredibly well. He bowled well in the ODIs, and now he’s just continuing with that momentum, and maturity as well,” said Miller.
“He’s got a level head and lots of variations, and he really pulled them out in this match.”
Earlier, the raw but gifted Lutho Sipamla impressed on his debut with a composed spell of 0/23 in four overs, a period where he and tweaker Tabraiz Shamsi brought the Proteas back in the game.
“Tabraiz came on and did well to bring their run-rate down and then Lutho in his first game was absolutely incredible. I was really pleased with the two of them,” said Miller.