Proteas have proved they can chase down targets, says Van der Dussen

Van der Dussen was full of praise for all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo.

With the Proteas having been widely criticised for an apparent failure to chase down targets, top-order batter Rassie van der Dussen believed they had silenced their critics with a five-wicket win over giant slayers Afghanistan at the Cricket World Cup.

Chasing 245 to win in Ahmedabad on Friday, the Proteas chipped away at their target, led by a patient knock from Van der Dussen. He contributed 76 off 95 balls, combining in a key 65-run stand with all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo (39 not out) for the sixth wicket.

Earlier, though, they had to deal with a gutsy fight from all-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai (97 not out), the South Africans managed to restrict Afghanistan to 244 runs.

Fast bowler Gerald Coetzee spearheaded the Proteas attack, returning 4/44, while spinner Keshav Maharaj also bowled well to take 2/25 from his 10 overs.

“I think coming into this match we wanted to put ourselves in that situation, so if we won the toss we would have bowled anyway, because we wanted to put ourselves in that situation, knowing that they’ve got a really strong spin attack especially,” Van der Dussen said.

“I think it was largely controlled. There were one or two nervy moments, but that’s always the case in chases like that. You’ve just got to communicate well to the guys coming in.”

Phehlukwayo stands up

Van der Dussen was full of praise for Phehlukwayo, who stood up in his first match of the tournament after giving in-form all-rounder Marco Jansen a rest.

“He played brilliantly, and throughout this whole campaign it’s been such a squad effort… so I’m really happy for him to get a chance and to remind everyone again what he’s about as a player.”

South Africa will face Australia in the semi-finals of the global showpiece on Thursday.