JOHANNESBURG - 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 their 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.

 

Scorecard

SOUTH AFRICA 1ST INNINGS: 262

PAKISTAN 1ST INNINGS: 185

SOUTH AFRICA 2ND INNINGS: 303

PAKISTAN 2ND INNINGS:

Imam Haq c De Kock b Steyn 35

Shan Masood c De Kock b Steyn 37

Azhar Ali c De Kock b Olivier 15

Asad Shafiq c Elgar b Philander 65

B Azam c De Kock b Olivier 21

Sarfraz Ahmed b Olivier 0

Shadab Khan not out 47

Fahim Ashraf c Markram b Rabada 15

M Amir c Markram b Rabada 4

Hassan Ali c and b Rabada 22

Muhammad Abbas run out 9

EXTRAS: (lb2, nb1) 3

TOTAL: (65.4 overs) 273

FOW: 1-67, 2-74, 3-104, 4-162, 5-162, 6-179, 7-204, 8-208, 9-242, 10-273.

BOWLING: Steyn 20-2-80-2, Philander 14-4-41-1, Olivier 15-2-74-3 (1nb), Rabada 16-2-75-3, Elgar 0.4-0-1-0.

TOSS: South Africa

UMPIRES: Sundaram Ravi, Joel Wilson

TV UMPIRE: Bruce Oxenford (AUS)

MATCH REFEREE: David Boon (AUS)