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.
Their 3-0 victory handed them five points which bumped them to No 2 on the Test rankings, two points above England and six behind India.
The gameplan that worked for them throughout the series, continued to be fruitful 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. De Kock broke his two-year century drought and Steyn’s two wickets took him into the top ten 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 of completing the most wickets by a South African in a three-match Test series, behind Charlie Llewellyn who took 25 against Australia.
Oliver removed Babar Azham with his signature short delivery, followed by a beautiful inswinger that hit the top of Sarfaraz’s off-stump for a first-ball duck. This was the third time in the series that Olivier completed a double-wicket over. He ended the series with 24 wickets in what was a Man of the Series performance.
Philander then took the responsibility of removing Pakistan’s in-form man Asad on 65.
Rabada struck next, he dismissed Faheem Ashraf (15) who was caught brilliantly by Aiden Markram at fine gully. He struck again receiving an identical result, this time Mohammad Amir (four) guiding the ball to Markram at gully. This knocked Pakistan down eight for 208 runs.
Hasan Ali’s cameo 22 came off 14 deliveries that included two fours and a six off Rabada, but the latter got his revenge with a short delivery that Hasan skied, the bowler completing a catch off his own bowling.
It was a struggle to knockout the Pakistan batsmen, who must be commemorated for their stubbornness and fight they showed throughout the tour.
This was evident in Shadab Khan’s batting performance. He managed 47 off 66 balls.
Dean Elgar came in for a bowl and it was his over that saw the final wicket fall, Mohammad Abbass run out for nine.
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