Depth in South Africa squad pleases Graeme Smith following Test series win over Pakistan

Proteas complete 3-0 drubbing against the tourists at Centurion.

South Africa's Graeme Smith became the first captain to win 50 Test matches. Ihsaan Haffejee / Reuters
Powered by automated translation

South Africa completed a series clean sweep when they beat Pakistan by an innings and 18 runs on the third day of the third and final Test at SuperSport Park.

Pakistan were bowled out for 235 in their second innings, an improvement on their first innings total of 156.

But the margin of victory and the series result was a fair reflection of the dominance of South Africa, the world champions, playing in their home conditions.

Dale Steyn took four for 80 and was responsible for the run out of Azhar Ali which sparked a Pakistan collapse.

For the only time in the series, the Pakistan lower order showed some resistance and Steyn was frustrated in a final spell of eight overs after tea as the last pair, Rahat Ali and Mohammad Irfan, played and missed or edged the ball out of reach of the fielders.

At the other end Kyle Abbott was unable to complete a 10-wicket haul on his Test debut, finishing with two for 39 after taking a magnificent seven for 29 in the first innings.

Finally, Graeme Smith turned to the left-arm spinner Robin Peterson who trapped Rahat leg before wicket with his sixth ball.

South Africa won the first Test in Johannesburg by 211 runs and the second in Cape Town by four wickets. None of the matches went to a fifth day.

"I said before that depth was going to be a key factor in us staying No 1 and that showed here," said Smith, who became the first Test captain to win 50 Tests.

"When we go to the UAE to play Pakistan, it will be our first challenge of the new season and we hope to do well there."

Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, said that the second Test defeat in Cape Town had been key in the series.

"If we had 50-70 runs more in Cape Town, that was the chance we had to win a match. But there is a chance for us in the one-dayers. Batting-wise we are disappointed," he said.

An early finish seemed in prospect when Pakistan lost four wickets quickly after lunch to be floundering at 114 for six, but Sarfraz Ahmed (40) and Saeed Ajmal (31) batted enterprisingly and with a modicum of luck to put on 69 for the seventh wicket.

Azhar and Imran Farhat defied the South African bowlers for most of a morning during which only the wicket of Younis Khan fell.

They saw Pakistan through to lunch at 87 for two, with Azhar on 27, eked out over 110 balls.

But Azhar did not face another ball before he was run out by a superb throw from fine leg by Steyn after being sent back by Farhat, who had initially been seeking a second run.

Pakistan's hopes of avoiding an innings defeat crumbled as three more wickets fell in quick succession.

sports@thenational.ae

Follow us