Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
South Africa still remain undefeated away from home since 2006
South Africa kept hold of their world number one Test team ranking and still remain undefeated away from home since 2006 after demolishing Pakistan by an innings and 92 runs in the second Test in Dubai.
South Africa needed to win this Test to ensure they didn’t lose their first Test series since Sri Lanka beat them in 2006.
Starting out the day on 132/4, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who was unbeaten on 42, and Asad Shafiq, who was undefeated on 28, continued to build on their overnight partnership of 62 runs.
Ul-Haq and Shafiq converted their 62-run partnership into a massive 197-run partnership, during which ul-Haq brought up his half-century, while Shafiq registered his fourth Test century.
The partnership was finally ended when ul-Haq lost his concentration and paid for it with his wicket.
Ul-Haq was caught out off the bowling of Dean Elgar for 88 off 218 balls, which included six boundaries and a six.
South Africa spinner Imran Tahir removed wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal and Saeed Ajmal in quick succession to bring the Proteas closer to victory.
Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Irfan was the next to go as he was clean bowled for 14 by spinner Jean Paul (JP) Duminy.
Duminy came back to also claim the wicket of Shafiq, who was stumped by AB de Villiers for a magnificent 130 off 320 deliveries, which included 15 boundaries and a six.
South Africa started their celebrations after it was confirmed that Zulfiqar Babar would not bat due to an injury he had sustained.
Duminy and Tahir both picked up three wickets apiece, while Elgar, Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander all snapped up one wicket each to give South Africa a convincing innings and 92-run win over Pakistan.
Ul-Haq was extremely disappointed with his team’s performance, especially in the first innings when they were bowled out for a dismal 99.
“After winning the toss, especially the first session in the Test, we could have really done better than that,” he said. “99 all out was the reason for this failure. Even if we had scored 200 it could have been a different story. AB and Graeme Smith batted really well on a pitch that was turning. Once you are 400 runs behind in the first innings it is really hard to come back.”
South Africa skipper Graeme Smith, who was named Man of the Match for his stellar knock of 234, praised his team for fighting back after losing the first Test in Abu Dhabi by seven wickets.
“It was an outstanding four days for us, to respond in these conditions where I don’t think Pakistan have lost before,” he said. “Pakistan were sharper than us in the first game and we got better as the series went on. We got most things right in this game. Anytime you bowl a team out for 99 you’ve gone a way ahead in the Test match and Tahir was a big part of that. (About his 200) It’s a long road back from injury and it was great to be able to perform.”
De Villiers was named Man of the Series for scoring 273 runs in three innings at an eye-popping average of 91.
“Closer to an 8/10 (in terms of performance),” he said. “We improved a hell of a lot, a great comeback from the No. 1 team. Always enjoyed batting with Graeme, he’s got a great temperament. It was exhausting, very hot, the fact that we extended that partnership for over 300 runs was very satisfying.”