T20 World Cup

Proteas centurion Rassie vd Dussen learnt not to panic in high-score chase to beat Pakistan

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Rassie van der Dussen (Gallo)
Rassie van der Dussen (Gallo)

Keeping calm and keeping his eyes largely off his personal score aided Proteas centurion Rassie van der Dussen in South Africa's six-wicket win over Pakistan in their second warm-up game.

This Saturday, the Proteas will begin their T20 World Cup adventure against Australia, carrying a bagful of confidence after hauling down Pakistan's 186/6 thanks to Van der Dussen's 101 not-out.

Van der Dussen smashed 10 fours and four sixes on his way to the hundred and was ably assisted by skipper Temba Bavuma's platform-presenting 46 (off 42 balls).

As it happened | Van der Dussen ton steers Proteas to thrilling T20 warm-up win over Pakistan

"It obviously feels very good," Van der Dussen said after the match.

"Not having a scoreboard helps because I didn't even know I was close to a hundred.

"The lesson here is to take it ball-by-ball, have your game plans, trust in them and play the situation of the game according to the run rate required.

"If you can stay calm in those middle overs, not panic even though the required rate gets up to 13 or 14, that's the learning I'll take from today."

Although SA lost talismanic opener Quinton de Kock and Reeza Hendricks cheaply early on, both to Imad Wasim, Van der Dussen said they managed the chase well.

Van der Dussen and his captain knitted a fine century partnership in the middle that got the Proteas to within striking distance of Pakistan's tally.

From there, Van der Dussen launched and saw SA to 190/4, smashing a four from the final delivery to steer SA over the line.

Abu Dhabi wickets have been notoriously low-scoring since the Indian Premier League resumed after its suspension, but Wednesday night showed that high scores could pop up every so often during the T20 World Cup.

"We chased quite a big score, but we knew the wicket was quite good," said Van der Dussen.

"We needed to give ourselves a chance up front, but we were a bit behind in the powerplay.

"But we knew, throughout the middle, we had our boundary options, and we could execute them, and we would get close.

"The thought was to always get a guy in during the last five overs and then put them under pressure.

"The guys that played around me did well. Sometimes, when you're chasing a big score, you have to stay in fifth gear … the score tells you how to play.

"I thought we managed the inning well. Maybe we needed a bit too many in the last three overs (47), but luckily, we executed our boundary options at the end." 

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