AB ton sets up SA series win
AB de Villiers’s 121 and debutant Kyle Abbott’s 9/83 helped South Africa beat Pakistan by an innings and 18 runs in the Third Test at Centurion against Pakistan and sweep the series 3-0.
de Villiers picked up the Man of the Series award, leading the run charts with his 352 runs at an average of 88 which included a 103 in the first Test at Johannesburg, a crucial 61 at Cape Town in the second Test and the 121 (215b, 15x4) in this game. He also had a prolific haul with the gloves, equalling the world record with 11 dismissals in the first Test and ending the series with 17 catches.
South Africa were at a tentative 107/3 on Day 1 after having chosen to bat first when AB walked in, pressure added due to the absence of Jacques Kallis who had been rested for the game. de Villiers stitched three crucial partnerships, 79 runs with Hashim Amla (92) for the 4th wicket, 52 runs with Robin Peterson (28) for the 6th wicket and 129 runs with Vernon Philander (74) for the 7th wicket to haul SA to a massive 409 in their first innings.
Kyle Abbott, filling in for Kallis on debut then caused havoc, running through Pakistan taking 7/29 as they were dismissed for 156. Graeme Smith immediately chose to exploit the 253 run lead and asked Pakistan to follow on. Dale Steyn struck with the first ball of their second innings to dismiss Mohammad Hafeez, reducing Pakistan to 14/1 at Stumps on Day 2.
Azhar Ali (27), Imran Farhat (43), Sarfraz Ahmed (40) and Saeed Ajmal (31) offered resistance but Steyn (4/80), Abbott (2/39) and Rory Kleinveldt (2/33) ensured they were bowled out a second time soon after Tea on Day 3. Pakistan folded for 235 in their second innings, still falling 18 short of SA’s first innings total to give them another massive win to end the series.