CENTURION: Kyle Abbott produced the second best figures on debut for South Africa to dismiss Pakistan for just 156 on a day of complete domination for the home side as they headed towards a clean sweep of the three-Test series at SuperSport Park.
South Africa posted a formidable 409 all out with AB de Villiers completing his 16th Test century before Abbott claimed an astonishing analysis of 7-29 in just 11.4 overs to dismantle the tourists middle and lower order.
Graeme Smith had no hesitation in enforcing the follow-on and Dale Steyn added to Pakistan’s misery by bowling opener Mohammad Hafeez with the first ball of the second innings. The tourists finished the second day on 14-1, still trailing by 239 runs and facing seemingly hopeless odds.
De Villiers, unbeaten on 98 overnight, reached 121 from 215 balls and struck 15 boundaries during a seventh wicket stand of 129 with Vernon Philander who’s career-best 74 came from just 113 balls and included nine boundaries. There was plenty of evidence on display from the record-breaking seamer to show why he batted at number five for the SA under-19 team.
Philander claimed two of the first three wickets to fall with Abbott becoming the ninth South African to take a wicket in his first over of Test cricket when Hafeez was caught low down in the gully by Dean Elgar.
Thereafter Abbott’s scything journey through the Pakistan batsmen was only interrupted by Steyn trapping Asad Shafiq lbw.
A constantly probing, relentless line of attack on off-stump resulted in five catches between first slip and gulley before last man, Younis Khan, was trapped lbw for a top score of 33.
“It will take a while to sink in,” said Abbott afterwards. “I haven’t slept much in the last two days so not much is sinking in. To play for the number one team in the world, just to be a part of it and see how everyone prepares, has been incredible.
“To bowl in an attack with the number one and number two bowlers in the world is incredible. Everyone bowled just as well as me, better probably, but I was the lucky one to benefit from the pressure they created,” Abbott said.
“Graeme kept asking me after each over whether I was ‘done’ yet, but the word ‘no’ kept coming out of my mouth.”