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Andile Phehlukwayo: South Africa's new finisher?

Andile Phehlukwayo showed his calmness in a pressure situation Getty Images

There were wide eyes and a wide smile from Andile Phehlukwayo as he reflected on his second match-winning hand with the bat in a brief international career.

With AB de Villiers, one of the game's great batsmen at the other end, it was Phehlukwayo who hit the crucial boundaries late in the Hamilton chase. South Africa needed 22 off 12 balls, which became 21 off 10 at which point Phehlukwayo lofted Trent Boult over long-off. Then came an even sweeter blow in the final over as he drilled Tim Southee back over his head to virtually kill the game.

"I just tried to watch the ball, swing really hard and hit straight," he said. "The first one, I was just trying to play straight but the second one I definitely knew when it came off the bat that it was going for six."

New Zealand were marginal favourites when he arrived with 52 needed off 44 balls, on a tricky pitch and three frontline bowlers remaining in South Africa's tail, but in Phehlukwayo they had someone who had already shown a calmness under pressure early in his South Africa career.

Against Australia in Durban he partnered David Miller in an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 107 as they hunted down 372. Miller took the headlines, but Phehlukwayo was anything but a silent partner as he hit 42 off 39 deliveries.

This time he had de Villiers around, who was concentrating on rotating the strike because he was finding boundaries difficult to come by. "He was one of the very few guys tonight who could pick up the pace of the wicket," de Villiers said of his junior partner.

"From the side it looked like that, but I was just trying to watch the ball and pick what they were trying to do," Phehlukwayo said. "A lot of information was given to me from AB, what the bowler was thinking and what he was trying to bowl so that helped a lot. It was really exciting, I've never batted with him before. Everyone knows his abilities but I've learnt a lot from him in terms of game plans and how I need to train."

He has also had his moments with the ball in his first 11 ODIs, including 4 for 44 in his second ODI against Australia, and on the domestic scene has a reputation for proficiency in the death overs. "On the bowling end I probably need to get my pace up and get more consistent with line and length," he said. "On the batting side I enjoy pressure situations."

South Africa may yet consider the experience of Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander for the Champions Trophy, but Phehlukwayo's finishing skills with the bat add to his value considerably when decisions have to be made over the final squad. Currently he is one of four pace-bowling allrounders in New Zealand - alongside Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell and Dwaine Pretorius - and there may not be room for all in the final 15.

His performances could also help with CSA's transformation targets because he would be a second black player in the squad - South Africa need to average two per XI throughout a season - with few arguments that he was not worth his place on cricket merit alone.