On a day when the ball dominated the bat most of the time on the international stage, the Proteas’ Duanne Olivier picked up 6-37 against Pakistan to earn him SACricketmag.com’s mantle of Boxing Day’s Turbo Bowler.
Having already featured in five previous Test matches for South Africa and notching up 17 wickets along the way, Olivier slotted seamlessly into the Proteas’ bowling attack with a lethal display of fast bowling.
Due largely to injuries to veteran frontline bowler Vernon Philander and the up-and-coming Lungi Ngidi, Olivier got another well-deserved run in the team and grabbed the opportunity with both hands. The right-arm seamer ripped through the Pakistan batting order to help reduce the visitors to just 181 all out within 47 overs.
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The first of his victims was Shan Masood as the unlucky No 3 first padded up a ball drifting down-leg before gloving it down on to his own stumps, so becoming the third wicket to fall in a catastrophic start by the touring side. With that piece of luck, Olivier was up and running and near unstoppable.
Asad Shafiq was the next to fall before Olivier removed both the dangerous Azhar Ali (thanks to a brilliant catch by Theunis de Bruyn) and captain Sarfraz Ahmed in the same over.
His brilliant bowling throughout the first innings earned him his maiden five-for in Test cricket with the dismissal of Mohammed Amir, with a peach of a delivery that pitched on to leg stump before angling across the left-hander and cleaning up the top of off.
Olivier then brought an end to the Pakistan innings with the dismissal of No 11 Shaheen Afridi to reach the epicentre of a seismic performance.
Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters