South African Steamroller Remains Unstoppable

South Africa 3-0 Pakistan – 3 Tests – South Africa retain series trophy

Dale Steyn

Dale Steyn took 20 wickets during the series
Photo: Privatemusings

Another superb performance by table-topping South Africa spelt a humbling whitewash defeat for Pakistan in this three-match series.  Having dismantled New Zealand in similar fashion earlier in the year, Graeme Smith’s wonderfully talented unit have now won each of the five Tests they have played in 2013.

Good performances by the Pakistani bowlers across the series — including 10 wickets for the beguiling Saeed Ajmal in the 2nd Test — generally restricted the Proteas’ batsmen from posting mammoth scores.  However, the quality of the home sides’s relentless seam attack rendered redundant the need for South African batting heroics.  The potent combination of Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander yielded 35 wickets in the rubber, as batsman after batsman failed to cope with the pace, guile and movement on show.  Debutant Kyle Abbott followed the lead set by Steyn and Philander, snatching 7 wickets in the shell-shocked tourists’ first innings in the final Test.

South Africa’s victory strengthens their status as Test Cricket League Champions (the last encounter between these two sides ended in a draw) and entails that their retention of the Grand Slam Trophy continues.  Meanwhile, Pakistan remain wedged in fifth place between Asian rivals India and Sri Lanka.  The next battle for this series trophy takes place in Pakistan or the UAE later this year.  It will be fascinating to see how the peerless Proteas face up to the challenge of handling the talented Pakistanis in less favourable conditions.

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