2nd Test: South Africa pip Pakistan by four wickets to clinch series
Posted on: 09:59 PM IST Feb 17, 2013
Cape Town: Saeed Ajmal's 10-wicket match haul proved in vain as South Africa beat Pakistan by four wickets inside four days on Sunday to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. After their bowlers took Pakistan's last six wickets for just 22 runs in the first two sessions of the day, the Proteas barely looked troubled in chasing 182 to win the second Test at Newlands, with Hashim Amla scoring 58.
South Africa have now won its last six series, and is unbeaten in 12. They have not lost a five-day match since December 2011 - 14 games ago - and have won its last six on the trot to underline their position as the world's top Test team.
For its part, Pakistan were left to regret an opportunity missed after they had reduced South Africa to 109 for 5 in the first innings after scoring 338. The tourists gained only a 12-run lead on first innings, and began day four on 100 for 3 after Azhar Ali and Misbah-ul-Haq had battled through the evening session on Saturday to leave the game evenly poised.
A rush of blood to the head ensured Misbah departed in the ninth over of the morning when he was caught attempting to sweep spinner Robin Peterson, but the real collapse came after the ball was changed by the umpires during the morning tea break. South Africa's seamers soon found lateral movement with the new ball, and Pakistan lost three wickets in three balls as its lower order collapsed.
Although South Africa lost wickets at fairly regular intervals, it never looked under pressure in chasing a moderate target, particularly after Graeme Smith and Amla had added a quick 53 for the second wicket before the tea interval. Smith was trapped lbw by Saeed Ajmal for the second time in the match shortly before that break, and Jacques Kallis fell to the same fate just after, but AB de Villiers and Amla made victory a formality by adding 62 runs in 14 overs for the fourth wicket.
With victory in sight, Amla was bowled by a wonderfully flighted delivery and de Villiers was caught behind off the bowling of Tanvir Ahmed for 36. But even when Faf du Plessis became Ajmal's 10th victim of the match with two runs still needed, there were no real nerves as Dean Elgar and Peterson saw South Africa home.