South Africa completed a resounding clean sweep of the three match Sunfoil Test series against Pakistan with a resounding innings and 18-run victory at Supersport Park on Sunday to conclude a home summer of Test cricket which featured five consecutive victories – none of which went to the fifth day.
Pakistan resumed on 14-1 in the follow-on innings, still 239 runs away from making South Africa bat again, and four wickets from Dale Steyn led the way to a total of 235 all out an hour before the scheduled close of play.
Steyn removed the dangerous Younis Khan (11) with a classic away swinger and then produced a moment of inspired boundary fielding to run out Azhar Ali with a fierce, flat return to the ‘keeper.
Imran Farhat (43) briefly counter-attacked until a cut shot was edged to De Villiers behind the stumps and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (5) provided the Proteas ‘keeper with another victim courtesy of Rory Kleinveldt.
A much earlier finish to the day seemed likely when Asad Shafiq drove Kleinveldt to straight to Vernon Philander at mid off with the scoreboard telling a sorry tale at 114-6.
Wicket Keeper Sarfraz Ahmed combined a series of deft touches with powerful cuts and drives to post a top score of 40 from just 45 deliveries and found an unlikely ally in Saeed Ajmal (31) to post 69 for the seventh wicket, the highest partnership of the innings.
Steyn removed both men to move within a single scalp of his 22nd five-for while Kyle Abbott had Ehsan Adil brilliantly caught at third man by Dean Elgar to move within a single wicket of an extraordinary 10-wicket match haul on debut.
Graeme Smith allowed both men to compete for the final wicket and they bowled unchanged for over an hour producing many chances without reward. The last wicket stand of 33 was finally ended when Robin Peterson trapped Rahat Ali lbw leaving the two pacemen equally exhausted and frustrated.
Abbott had the considerable consolation of being named man-of-the-match for a match haul of 9-68 while Steyn had to settle for 4-80 in the second innings but a series haul of 20 wickets at an average of a little over 12 runs apiece.
AB de Villiers was named man-of-the-series for a run aggregate of 352 at an average of 88 including two centuries and 17 dismissals including a word record-equalling 11 in the first Test at the Wanderers.