A collective effort from the Proteas bowlers saw the hosts complete a 3-0 whitewash with a 107-run win in the third Test against Pakistan at Wanderers, writes KHALID MOHIDIN.
A whitewash was essential for the Proteas’ hunt for the No 1 spot on the Test rankings and they delivered in style. Their 3-0 victory handed them five points, which bumped them up to No 2 on the Test rankings, two points above England and six behind leaders India.
The game plan that worked for them throughout the series continued to bear fruit in the final Test at Wanderers. Despite dominating the first three days with bat and ball, it still remained a gamble to predict what Pakistan was going to produce on day four.
Quinton de Kock and Dale Steyn stole the headlines on day three, with De Kock breaking his two-year Test century drought, while Steyn’s two wickets took him into the Top 10 Test wicket-takers of all time.
Asad Shafiq, however, kept his side in a competitive mode as Pakistan finished the day still needing 228 runs for victory.
During the first session on day four, Olivier was back in the spotlight as he moved closer to the record for completing the most wickets by a South African in a three-match Test series, behind Charlie Llewellyn, who took 25 against Australia in 1902.
Oliver removed Babar Azham with his signature short delivery, followed by a beautiful inswinger that hit the top of Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed’s off-stump for a first-ball duck. This was the third time in the series that Olivier completed a double-wicket over, as well as Sarfaraz’s third duck of the series, two of which saw him bowled by Olivier. Olivier ended the series with 24 wickets in what was a magnificent Man of the Series performance.
Philander then took the responsibility for removing Pakistan’s in-form man Asad Shafiq for 65 off just 71 balls.
Rabada struck next, dismissing Faheem Ashraf (15), caught brilliantly by Aiden Markram at fine gully. The paceman struck again five balls later when Mohammad Amir (four) guided his stroke straight to Markram at gully. This knocked the stuffing out of Pakistan as they slipped to eight for 208.
Hasan Ali’s cameo 22 came off 14 deliveries that included two fours and a six off Rabada, but the latter got his revenge (and his third wicket of the innings) with a short delivery that Hasan skied, Rabada completing the catch off his own bowling.
It was a struggle to knock out the remaining Pakistan batsmen, who should be commended for their stubbornness and the fight they showed throughout the tour. This was evident in Shadab Khan’s batting performance, ending Pakistan’s second innings undefeated on 47 off 66 balls.
Dean Elgar brought himself into the attack and it was his over that saw the final wicket fall, Mohammad Abbas run out for nine as the Proteas completed a comfortable 3-0 series win.
South Africa 262 (first innings) – Aiden Markram (90), Theunis de Bruyn (48); Faheem Ashraf (3-57), Mohammad Amir (2-36)
Pakistan 185 (first innings) – Sarfaraz Ahmed (50), Babar Azam (49), Imam-ul-Haq (43); Duanne Olivier (5-51), Vernon Philander (3-43)
South Africa 303 (second innings) – Quinton de Kock (129) Hashim Amla (71); Shadab Khan (41), Faheem Ashraf (3-42)
Pakistan 273 (second innings) – Asad Shafiq (65), Shadab Khan (47*); Dale Steyn (2-72), Kagiso Rabada (3-71), Duanne Olivier (3-72)
Proteas won by 107 runs
Photo: Gordon Arons/Gallo Images