That is all we have then from this first SA-Pak Test at Centurion, which had no centurions. It lasted just 8 sessions but totally enthralled us. Pakistan have been defeated but they have shown that they can fight hard. The Proteas will want a more clinical approach with the bat, come the second Test, which begins at Cape Town on Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 10.30 am local (0830 GMT). 1-1, 2-0 or 1-0? Join us on that day to find out! Wishing you all a happy new 2019 in advance! ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
DUANNE OLIVIER IS NAMED THE MAN OF THE MATCH for his match figures of 11/96.
Now, the bowling. With the team taking 20 wickets, Duanne Olivier's 11 stole the headlines. He was the out-and-out hero in the first innings but in the second, Rabada's 3/15 in that last spell turned the game completely with the ball reversing. For Pakistan, Afridi and Amir produced decent returns with the ball in the first innings, taking 4 wickets each.
For South Africa with the bat, heroes stepped up when mattered. In the first essay, it was Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock. Do not forget the cameo by Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada. That lead of 42 did prove to be very crucial.
Now, a flashback of the previous three innings. Where did Pakistan lose the game? After electing to bat on a green deck? Or allowing South Africa to get a decent lead after tottering at 43/4 at one stage? Or not managing even 200 after being 101/1 in the second innings? Hard to say. The first innings score read 181, but 107 of those came from the willows of Babar Azam and Azhar Ali. Shan Masood and Imam-ul-Haq were the heroes in the second innings but it did not prove to be enough.
Pakistan would be a bit disappointed with the way the match ended. They came out firing this morning but simply could not sustain the pressure after the first Drinks break. Everyone bowled well but the wickets did not come as they did in the first innings. And, they gave it their all. Bouncers, yorkers, inswingers, outswingers, fuller lengths, back of a length, corridor of uncertainty - but were unable to dislodge either of Elgar or Amla.
It was a stand worth 119 from 241 balls. But what would be worth checking is how many fishes, plays and misses, edges, hits on arm, hits on the body, etc... were seen. Elgar, as always, was prepared to do the dirty work, taking blows all over his body but digging in there. Amla needed this innings. He was badly out of form and this half century is a welcome return for him. His first 50-plus score after 10 innings.
Pakistan got the perfect start to the day with Hasan Ali nipping out Aiden Markram for a duck and then created more chances but the fielders could not grab them. Hashim Amla was dropped on 8 while a controversial catch of Dean Elgar was not given. This was during the first hour on Friday where Pakistan gave it their all. But once that period passed, Amla and Elgar used all their experience to get the runs.
Let us start from Day 3. South Africa needed 149 to win. Easy peasy? Might have been at the start of the innings. Might look so with the scorecard reading 151/4. But only Hashim Amla and Dean Elgar know what they battled.
A bit of a tame end to what has been a magnificent Test match. South Africa were expected to win and they did win but given the drama that unfolded on the first two days, one would have expected more wickets to fall. But on the given day, the Proteas came out well on top.
Y Shah to Bavuma, FOUR! SOUTH AFRICA GO 1-0 UP! Full and around middle, Bavuma gets down and sweeps it behind square leg for a boundary! Victory by 6 wickets.
Y Shah to Bavuma, Landed outside off, stays low, TB stays back to defend but the ball stays low as well and takes the bottom edge, back to the bowler.
Y Shah to Bavuma, Full and around off, Temba comes forward and defends.
Y Shah to Bavuma, A short ball outside off, Bavuma goes back and punches it towards point.
END OF OVER: 50 | 7 Runs 0 Wkt | SA: 147/4
S Afridi to Amla, Around off, coming in, Hashim misses his tuck and is hit on the pads.
S Afridi to Amla, Outside off, left alone.
S Afridi to Bavuma, A bit too straight, full as well, worked through mid-wicket. Mohammad Amir runs all the way from mid on but before he can get to the ball, Hasan Ali gets there from fine leg. Three runs taken. 2 more to win now.
S Afridi to Bavuma, On a length outside off, watchfully defended.
S Afridi to Bavuma, A bouncer now, Temba ducks. Didn't have to, actually.
S Afridi to T Bavuma, FOUR! 'Oh yes!' exclaims Pommie Mbangwa on air. Full and outside off, Bavuma leans into the shot and drives it through the covers. Does not even bother to run. South Africa just a hit away from a 1-0 lead.
END OF OVER: 49 | 1 Runs 0 Wkt | SA: 140/4
Y Shah to Amla, Full and outside off, Hashim dead-bats it.
Y Shah to Amla, Full again, around off, pushed towards cover.
Y Shah to Amla, A full toss, around off, blocked out carefully.