Proteas beat Pakistan by nine wickets to clinch Test series
The Proteas got over the line in the second Test against Pakistan at Newlands on Sunday morning to claim the series win, but it was far from comfortable.
Starting their second innings on day four needing just 41 runs for victory, openers Dean Elgar (24*) and Theunis de Bruyn were subjected to a barrage of short-pitched bowling as the Pakistan seamers looked to give the hosts some of their own medicine.
De Bruyn was elevated to the top of the batting order as regular opener Aiden Markram was being treated for a bruised hip after crashing into the advertising boards while fielding on Saturday.
De Bruyn, though, continued his struggles to solidify a position in this Test side when he was out for just four, going after a short ball from Mohammad Abbas only to edge through to Sarfraz Ahmed behind the stumps.
That brought Hashim Amla to the crease, but the 35-year-old lasted just five balls before he received a nasty blow to the arm from Mohammad Amir.
Amla had tried to get forward to a delivery that was just back of a length, but the ball spat up and crashed into his right bicep.
Retired hurt on two, Amla plodded of the Newlands turf looking rather sorry for himself to join Markram on the injured list.
Elgar and skipper Faf du Plessis (3*) saw South Africa over the line and while the nine-wicket win looked comfortable on the scoreboard, those who were at Newlands for the 48 minutes of play on Sunday saw that it was anything but.
It is South Africa’s seventh straight Test series win at home, while they have also never lost a home series under the leadership of Du Plessis.
It is an impressive record that dates back to the 2015/16 when Amla stepped down from the captaincy midway through a home series against England that the Proteas would go on to lose.
Since then, though, South Africa have been dominant on their own turf.
Scores in brief:
Pakistan 177 (Sarfraz 56, Olivier 4/38, Steyn 3/48) and 294 (Shafiq 88, Babar 72, Masood 61, Rabada 4/61, Steyn 4/85)
South Africa 431 (Du Plessis 103, Markram 78, Bavuma 75, De Kock 59, Amit 4/88, Afridi 4/123) and 43/1 (Elgar 24*)
South Africa won by nine wickets and lead the three-match series 2-0. — Sport 24