The Proteas knocked off the 41 runs required for victory for the loss of one wicket to win the second Test at Newlands and secure the series against Pakistan 2-0, but Hashim Amla suffered an arm injury which will have Proteas fans holding their breath, writes SIMON LEWIS.
With Aiden Markram moving down the order to rest an injury he picked up while fielding, Theunis de Bruyn opened the innings with Dean Elgar, hitting the second ball he faced through midwicket for four off Mohammad Abbas.
Elgar saw out a second maiden over in a row at the other end, after which De Bruyn pulled at a short ball from Abbas which nicked his glove on its way through to Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed’s gloves.
De Bruyn would be kicking himself for missing out on a chance to cement his position in the side, as his four runs off 10 balls would not have given the selectors ammunition to keep him in the side for the Wanderers Test. However, they will hopefully remember his superb rearguard action century against Sri Lanka just two Tests ago as validation of his ability and aptitude to grit it out in Test cricket.
With the Proteas one down for four runs, Pakistan wouldn’t have had their eyes on a victory, although they would no doubt have seen it as an opportunity to pick up as many wickets as possible to offer them a morale boost ahead of the third Test at the Wanderers.
Sadly, the next over by Mohammad Amir gifted the Proteas 11 runs, one off the bat of Elgar, and 10 in the shape of a wide that ran down to the boundary for four as well as a wicked bouncer that sailed high over Sarfraz for a no-ball and four byes.
The following over from Amir saw a nasty lifter hit Hashim Amla on the arm, requiring a visit from the physio that saw him retire hurt with his score on two off five balls and the Proteas on 23-1.
Faf du Plessis watched from the other end as Dean Elgar stroked the winning runs off Azhar Ali, the left-handed opening batter ending undefeated with his score on 24 off 39 balls (4×4) while Du Plessis scored three not out.
Mohammad Abbas (1-14) took the only wicket of the innings as South Africa secured a worthy nine-wicket win in under 10 overs on the fourth morning, and in so doing, secured the series victory.
‘Finally got a hundred at my favourite ground,’ smiled skipper Du Plessis when he collected his Player of the Match award at the post-match ceremony.
The third and final Test is at the Wanderers in Johannesburg from Friday 11 January, with play starting at 10am SAST.
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images