We take a look at the past five times South Africa have gone into the last Test looking to draw the series.
2013 vs Pakistan: Series saved 1-1
The Proteas were blown away in the first match of the two-Test series after a big century from little-known Khurram Manzoor, as well as 11 wickets between spin pair Saeed Ajmal and Zulfiqar Babar, gave Pakistan a seven-wicket win in Abu Dhabi.
Not many have gone to the UAE and managed to pull off a Test victory let alone a series victory, so the task was huge for the Proteas. But, inspired from his then-record 278* in 2010 which allowed them to draw the series 0-0 the last time they traveled to the UAE, AB de Villiers racked up another huge century in a 338-run stand with Graeme Smith. De Villiers scored 164, Smith 234, as the Proteas amassed 517. Pakistan only managed 99 and 326 for the tourists to win by a massive innings and 92 runs.
2009 vs England: Series saved 1-1
For all of South Africa’s recent successes in England, the English have been pretty effective in South Africa, having not lost a series there since 1999-00. England went into the Wanderers in the fourth Test looking to protect a 1-0 lead, this after an innings and 98-run victory was wedged in between two dramatic, rear-guard draws.
South Africa didn’t deserve to lose this series, and they showed exactly why in the fourth Test, as they thoroughly outclassed their opponents in just over three days. Dale Steyn’s 5-51 saw England crumble to 180 all out, before Smith struck 105, and Mark Boucher 95 off 118, to get South Africa to 423-7. England were then wiped out for 169 thanks to Morne Morkel’s 4-59. A huge innings and 74-run victory was the result.
2004 vs England: Series lost 2-1
The Proteas needed to pull off something similar five years previously, but this time the English were having none of it as they won their first series in South Africa since 1964-65. It was seen as a breakthrough Test for AB de Villiers, who struck 92 and 109 in a Man of the Match performance after being tasked with opening the batting, after the selectors decided to bat Graeme Smith at No 5 following his concussion in the fourth Test.
England did enough to squeeze out the draw after South Africa gave themselves 45 overs to bowl England out, this after De Villiers’ 109 and Jacques Kallis’s 136 got them to 296-6 dec. England were 73-4 before play was called.
2003 vs Pakistan: Series lost 1-0
It was Graeme Smith’s first series defeat as Test captain, as they couldn’t repair the damage from the first Test in Lahore that saw them lose by eight wickets. The second Test challenged Smith’s decision-making, as they needed to declare to give themselves enough time to secure a win.
Gary Kirsten, in his third-last series as a Test player, was in fine form as his 118 got the Proteas to 371-8 declared in Faisalabad, giving Pakistan just over a day to try and chase down 301 for victory. There was no budging from either side, as Taufeeq Umar’s 71 and Inzamam ul Haq’s 60 ensured Pakistan got to 242-6 after 98 overs before time was up. It remains Pakistan’s only series win against South Africa to date.
1998 vs Pakistan: Series saved 1-1
After South Africa won a three-match series 1-0 in Pakistan barely four months previously, Pakistan almost had revenge in the reverse fixture in February 1998. A low-scoring affair in the second Test in Durban saw Pakistan beat their opponents by 29 runs. The third Test in Port Elizabeth was again a match dominated by the bowlers, and South Africa would emerge on top to salvage a drawn series.
Despite boasting a bowling attack consisting of legends Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram and Mushtaq Ahmed, South Africa’s Allan Donald and Fanie de Villiers stole the show. The pair shared all 10 wickets between them to see Pakistan bundled out for 106 in the first innings, and they were at it again in the second innings, bowling the opponents out for 134 for South Africa to win by 259 runs. Donald finished with match figures of 8-74, De Villiers with 8-51.
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