7 Jan 2019

South Africa ease to series win over Pakistan

6:20 am on 7 January 2019

South Africa reeled off their modest victory target of 41 early on the fourth day of the second test against Pakistan to clinch the series with a nine-wicket win in Cape Town.

A lot rests on the shoulders of Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock.

Faf du Plessis (L) and Quinton de Kock. Photo: Photosport

Opener Dean Elgar scored an unbeaten 24 as the home side added to their victory in Pretoria last month and will be looking to sweep the series in the third match at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, starting on Friday.

The Proteas will have concerns over their top-order batting, however, with opener Aiden Markram not taking to the crease in the second innings with a severely bruised right thigh and Hashim Amla retiring hurt after he was struck on the bicep.

Added to that, middle-order batsman Theunis de Bruyn, deputising for Markram at the top of the order, continued his poor run when he was the only wicket to fall, caught by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed off seamer Mohammed Abbas for four.

"We played very well," South Africa captain Faf du Plessis, who was also named man of the match for a first-innings century, said at the post-match presentation.

"There is always something in the wicket here at Newlands and you need to be on form with the bat. We know if we get runs on the board, our bowlers will do the rest."

Du Plessis felt the key to victory was restricting Pakistan to 177 in their first innings in what was the most difficult time to bat in the test on day one.

"I think day one was moving day in terms of the pitch, but it got easier to bat on and yesterday Pakistan were in a good position to bat on and get a 150 lead and then who knows what happens.

"I still feel there was enough in it for batters and bowlers. At times it was difficult but that's test cricket."

Meanwhile du Plessis has been suspended for one test and fined 20 per cent of his match fee after his side were charged with a slow over rate in the win.

Du Plessis will sit out the final match of the series after Australian match referee David Boon imposed the suspension having found South Africa to be one over short of their required number in the match.