PAKISTAN TOUR OF SOUTH AFRICA, 2018-19
Cricbuzz Staff •
The Proteas pacers ripped through Pakistan’s batting to thump them in the dead-rubber © Getty
Duanne Olivier, Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander ran through the heart of Pakistan’s lower/middle order as the trio powered South Africa to a comfortable 107-run victory in the third and final Test at the Wanderers. In pursuit of a daunting target of 381, the visitors could muster just 273. With this win, the home side also completed a clean-sweep.
When the day began, Pakistan’s think-tank would have hoped for two of their mainstays, Babar Azam (21) and Asad Shafiq (65), to raise their game. However, Olivier troubled Babar by extracting variable bounce. The promising pacer who, through the course of the series, has bowled with a fair amount of venom, soon dismissed Babar with a brute of a short delivery that ‘kicked’ after pitching to take the glove on its way to the ‘keeper. To make matters worse for Babar, Olivier’s short delivery followed the batsman all the way.
Olivier then castled Sarfraz Ahmed off the very next delivery. Vernon Philander, renowned for extracting subtle movement off the pitch, followed it up by dismissing the fulcrum of Pakistani’s batting unit, Shafiq. With South Africa’s pacers banging it short, Faheem Ashraf employed the pull to crack a few fours before flashing at a delivery outside off, only to be caught by Aiden Makram at gully.
Hasan Ali, who came out to bat at the fall of Mohammad Amir’s wicket, unleashed a flurry of strokes before he was dislodged by Rabada. Shadab Khan (47*) showcased glimpses of his batting skills with eye-catching horizontal-bat shots but Pakistan’s innings ended in a rather comical fashion when Mohammad Abbas was run out.
After slipping to a 0-2 series defeat in Sri Lanka, South Africa would be buoyed by their clinical show. Olivier was certainly the star performer for the hosts, finishing with 24 scalps at an astonishing average of under 15. Quinton de Kock (129 in the second innings) and Markram (90 in the first innings) also played their parts in helping South Africa win the final Test.
Meanwhile, Pakistan have a lot of soul-searching to do. The visiting side’s batsmen were found wanting against well-directed bumpers and that was perhaps the key reason behind Pakistan’s miserable show in the Test series. The pacers bowled with skill and heart, but struggled to match their South African counterparts in terms of hitting the deck hard.
South Africa 262 (Aiden Markram 90; Faheem Ashraf 3-57) and 303 (Quinton de Kock 129, Hashim Amla 71; Shadab Kahn 3-41) beat Pakistan 185 (Sarfraz Ahmed 50; Duanne Olivier 5-51) and 273 (Asad Shafiq 65; Duanne Olivier 3-74) by 107 runs.