Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

De Kock puts the Proteas on top, warns clean sweep will be ‘tough’

Quinton de Kock hit an imperious century to put the Proteas in a powerful position on the third day of the third and final Test against Pakistan at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday, then warned that completing a series clean sweep would not be easy.

Set to make a daunting 381 to win, Pakistan were 153 for three at the close, needing another 228 runs.

De Kock’s 129 and a double strike by Dale Steyn kept the Proteas on course but Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam batted brightly towards the close to give Pakistan some hope.

“It’s going to be quite tough,” said De Kock. “The pitch has flattened out. It’s definitely got better, surprisingly. I thought with the new ball it would do a lot more than it did.”

Imam-ul-Haq and Shan Masood got Pakistan off to their best start of the series, putting on 67 for the first wicket.

They were largely untroubled by the South Africa’s all-pace attack until Steyn changed ends and dismissed both openers in quick succession.

When Azhar Ali fell cheaply to Duanne Olivier for the fourth time in the series, gloving a bouncer to wicketkeeper De Kock, a South African win seemed certain.

But Shafiq raced to 48 not out off 47 balls, while Azam looked comfortable in making 17 not out.

Realistically, though, the odds favour the home team with only captain Sarfraz Ahmed, a couple of all-rounders and the tail to come.

“We’ll have a chat about it tonight. They have a couple of decent batsmen in the mix so we’ll have to box cleverly tomorrow,” said De Kock.

Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood said the remaining Pakistan batsmen would need to follow the example of De Kock and Hashim Amla, who enabled the Proteas to recover from a precarious 93 for five.

While Amla patiently compiled 71 off 144 balls, the left-handed De Kock played fluently as the pair put on 102 for the sixth wicket. De Kock also shared an eighth wicket stand of 79 with Kagiso Rabada.

“Our plan was to get them out so we would be chasing 270-280 but credit goes to De Kock and Amla,” said Mahmood, who said he remained confident.

“We’ve done it before. Two guys are batting really well. If they can bat for a long period of time we’ve got a really good chance.”

Mahmood said at least one of the remaining batsmen would have to get a century.

“If these guys do the same thing that Amla and De Kock did we’ve got a chance,” he said.

Mahmood agreed with De Kock that the pitch was playing easier but he cautioned that there was some uneven bounce towards the close on Sunday.

De Kock reached his fifty off 49 balls and his fourth Test century off 121 deliveries.

He was finally caught in the deep, trying for a second successive six off leg-spinner Shadab Khan, after facing 138 balls and hitting 18 fours and a six.

Shadab finished with three for 41 while medium-pacer Faheem Ashraf took three for 42.

Sarfraz set a record for a Pakistan wicketkeeper by taking five catches in each innings.

His total of ten dismissals in the match was one better than the record previously shared by Rashid Latif and Kamran Akmal.

Pakistan only made one total over 200 in their first five innings in the series and had not batted for longer than 70.4 overs.

Steyn’s two wickets took his total in Tests to 433, bringing him level with Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath and Stuart Broad of England in joint eighth place on the all-time Test wicket-takers list.

© Agence France-Presse

Vote for an informed choice

We’re dropping the paywall this week so that everyone can access all our stories for free, and get the information they need in the run up to the local government elections. For the latest updates and political analysis, sign up to our daily elections newsletter.

If our coverage helps inform your decision, cast your vote for an informed public and join our subscriber community. Right now, a full year’s access is just R510, half the usual cost. Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Colin Bryden
Colin Bryden
Semi-active journalist and editor SA Cricket Annual.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Eskom to take ‘extraordinary measures’ to avoid load-shedding for elections

Stage four load-shedding rolled out to ensure the polls on Monday 1 November are energy secure

Khaya Koko: John Steenhuisen, please take a knee

The Democratic Alliance leader rebuking cricketer Quinton de Kock would be this election season’s greatest triumph

Paddy Harper: Will the Covid-19 cigarette ban come back to...

Flashbacks of nicotine deprivation and not poor service delivery may see a run on the polls on Monday

Eskom resorts to stage four load-shedding

Stage-four outages will continue until Friday after the loss of two units during the night, and three in total at Medupi, Kusile and Matla power plants tripping
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×