Definitive gameplan serves de Kock well

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Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock welcomed the Man of the Match award, after leading South Africa to a four-run win in Wednesday's rain-affected first Twenty20 International against Pakistan at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock welcomed the Man of the Match award, after leading South Africa to a four-run win in Wednesday's rain-affected first Twenty20 International against Pakistan at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

De Kock, selected ahead of the fit-again Graeme Smith, justified the decision entirely en route to a quickfire 43 in a fine total of 153 for seven.

The young left-hander's vigil featured all of eight fours and spanned a mere 33 deliveries. Fellow opener Hashim Amla, meanwhile, struck a fluid 31 during a brisk alliance of 72 inside eight overs.

"I felt with a wicket like that, 153 was enough. The bowlers did well to defend that. I think when I came into international cricket I did not have a gameplan, but I have had some advise from my franchise seniors and it is coming into effect," said de Kock.

Triumphant captain Faf du Plessis, meanwhile, appreciated a successful choice – after introducing part-time spinner JP Duminy before specialist leg-spinner Imran Tahir.

Duminy clinched the key wicket of opener Nasir Jamshed in his opening over, shortly before the inclement weather forced the players off the field.

"I saw that the ball was skidding on when the fast bowlers were bowling so that's when I thought about JP. The bowling has been excellent," added du Plessis.

"I am enjoying the captaincy at the moment. You do enjoy when you keep winning. We were well below par here and they pulled it back nicely. It is unfortunate that it ended like this, in the rain."

The second and final T20I will get underway at Newlands in Cape Town on Friday. Three ODIs will follow, the first of which will be hosted by the same venue on Sunday.

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