It took the Proteas just 60 overs to take 16 wickets on day three and beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 118 runs for a three-Test whitewash at the Wanderers, writes MARK SALTER.
It was as good a bowling effort by the four-strong pace attack as you will see, and better batsmen than the Sri Lankans would have struggled against that power, pace and precision.
The demoralised visitors resumed their innings on 80-4, but after 17 overs in 90 minutes’ play, they were being invited to follow on, 295 runs behind.
There was a token stand, led by Dimuth Karunaratne, who worked his way to 50 before being bowled by an unplayable delivery from Kagiso Rabada, but the 26 from Upal Tharanga and 24 from Kusal Mendis were the next best offerings.
No one could really put up a defence against that attack, especially as it was backed up by some marvellous moments in the field.
None was more spectacular than the effort by Faf du Plessis, leaping high at second slip to take a one-handed catch to dismiss Angelo Matthews off Duanne Olivier in their second innings.
The gods were against Mathews, for he had been dismissed by a similarly amazing catch by De Kock in the morning session; the keeper diving to his right to snaffle the low catch just in front of Hashim Amla at first slip.
There was another supreme moment when a sprinting JP Duminy took a catch coming over his shoulder to dismiss Tharanga, who skied one off Wayne Parnell (celebrating above).
On the day, Parnell and Olivier took the honours. Parnell picked up 6-89 over the two innings and Olivier 5-57, a wonderfully effective debut by the Knights.
Rabada and Vernon Philander had set the ball rolling with two wickets apiece in the first innings on the evening of day two, and they finished with 5-94 and 4-61 in the match, respectively.
Olivier deserved his reward. In the first innings he removed Rangana Herath with a pace-bowler’s dream delivery. It just kept rising at the hapless batsman, which he could only fend off to Stephen Cook at short leg.
His second was more prosaic, angled away from Tharanga to find the edge on its way to Dean Elgar at third slip. As too was his third, Dhanajaya de Silva taken by Du Plessis with a low chance. But all were from top-class deliveries which forced the batsmen to play.
The bowling all round was of the highest quality, even though the wicket did not provide as much spiteful movement as it did on the morning of day two, when South Africa were rolled out.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images
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