Phehlukwayo off to a flyer in Proteas colours

Cape Town - Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo bounced back from a 16-run opening over to claim impressive figures of 4/44 in Friday's six-wicket victory over Australia at SuperSport Park.

In what was only his second game for the national side, Phehlukwayo says it was his ability to keep his composure that helped him recover from what was a nightmarish start. 

"I think in situations like that I try to calm myself down a lot," he said after the match.

"Generally, I am a chilled guy so it comes through in my personality. I don’t really get tense that often in situations like that so it’s probably a personal trait of mine. 

"A lot was going through my head," he said of his thoughts after his opening over. “

"A lot about how I was going to bring it back and what I needed to do. Most importantly I was thinking about what I did at practice and what worked for me before the game. I thought about my preparation and what I did right in the Ireland game." 

His first international wicket, that of Aaron Finch who was caught at short fine leg, gave him the confidence boost to trust his game plans and skills, along with the backing from captain Faf du Plessis and the rest of his Proteas team mates. 

"They were both coming at me," he said of the Australian batsmen.

"I have been in situations before where the batters are more attacking and aggressive. Those situations are something that I have been through before so I knew what I had to do.

"My lengths weren’t good enough in the beginning so I had to adjust and I think I did fairly well to adjust in those circumstances." 

His career has moved at a fast pace following a breakthrough season with the Dolphins in 2015, a stint at the CSA National Academy earlier this year, and consistent performances for South Africa A this off season.

He now hopes to take the confidence and momentum into the second ODI at the Wanderers on Sunday, where he will rely on his past experiences and learnings. 

"I’m in a good space at the moment," he said.

"The guys have been positive and have backed me, it’s been welcoming, it’s been great being in the setup that I am in at the moment. Going into the next game I have some confidence, I will need to back myself more going forward. 

"It’s been really quick," he said of his development.

"I think I have learnt a lot from that. I think going forward I need to take the experiences from the games that I do play in and use it for the upcoming matches.

"I have taken a lot of confidence from those performances, I know that I can challenge people at this level and I can have positive performances and contribute to the team."

The second ODI takes place on Sunday in Johannesburg.

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