WATCH: Rassie van der Dussen finally gets his first international ton
TSHWANE – It took until his 48th international innings, covering a period of three and half years, but Rassie van der Dussen finally got a first international hundred in the opening ODI against Pakistan in Centurion on Friday.
The 32 year old, has quickly become a fixture for the Proteas in all formats since making his international debut in a T20 match against Zimbabwe in East London in 2018. However, in that time, across 47 international matches – eight Tests, 21 ODIs and 18 T20s – he had failed to crack a three figure score. In his fourth Test, he got to 98 against England and on two occasions in ODIs got into the 90s.
So it was understandable on Friday, that there were a few nerves as he made his way in singles from 95 to 100, but upon getting there joy and relief mixed in equal measure for a player, who despite being relatively new to international level, has established himself as a leader in the Proteas changeroom.
“It is a very special feeling, something that I have thought about for a very long time throughout my career,” Van der Dussen said in an interview with SuperSport at the end of the South African innings.
WATCH: "Mr Consistency" Rassie van der Dussen breaks his international century duck with a superb maiden ODI 100 in his 49th appearance for the #Proteas! 👏 @IOLsport @Rassie72 @OfficialCSA @cricfanaticsmag @GraemeSmith49 pic.twitter.com/fl4cVroxAc— Zaahier Adams (@ZaahierAdams) April 2, 2021
After being dropped on 0, by Asif Ali at second slip, Van der Dussen ended on 123 not out, that came off 134 balls and included 10 fours and two sixes. It was a timely knock in the context of the game. South Africa, after being asked to bat by Babar Azam, were in trouble on 55/4 in the 15th over following the dismissal of Heinrich Klassen.
On a pitch which Van der Dussen described as “sticky” – with the ball not coming onto the bat initially – he and David Miller had to piece together a partnership, to stabilise the innings and provide it with some impetus too. Miller made 50 off 56 balls, allowing Van der Dussen to play an anchor role, as they sought to give South Africa a competitive target.
“David was brilliant making that 50 so quickly on that pitch. We knew after losing those wickets early, if we could one partnership, we could get a competitive score,”said Van der Dussen. The pair shared a stand of 116 runs, which came at very good rate of 5.2 an over.
It allowed SA to get to 273, a total that Pakistan will feel happy with chasing, but one that given SA’s strong bowling line-up they will feel makes the match competitive.
“As a player, you take pride from performing under pressure, so I’m very happy with that innings,” van der Dussen added.