South Africa win second Test, clinch series

Home side claimed victory by nine wickets in Cape Town

South Africa win second Test, clinch series PHOTO: AFP

South Africa have defeated Pakistan by nine wickets on the fourth day of the second Test in Cape Town.

By claiming victory in the second Test, the Proteas also clinched the three-match Test series by taking an unassailable 2-0 lead.

While chasing a modest target of 41 runs, the home side reached home with relative ease despite losing Theunis de Bruyn — caught by Sarfraz Ahmed off the bowling of Mohammad Abbas — and Hashim Amla going back to the pavilion retired hurt, after being hit on the arm by pacer Mohammad Amir.

Elgar remained unbeaten on 24 while captain Faf du Plessis was not out on three runs.

For his brilliant century in the first innings, du Plessis was declared the player of the match.

Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Pakistan captain Sarfraz said that the main reason behind team’s loss was the absence of a competitive first innings total.

"Yes, not enough runs in the first innings, if we had got 250-300, the pitch was still helping fast bowlers [in the fourth innings],” said Sarfraz. “It's hard to recover if you're losing five wickets in the first session but the way our batsmen are batting, that's how you learn in Test cricket."

Sarfraz also lamented the lack of practice matches before heading in a tough away series against a team like South Africa.

“For me, playing two or three practice matches [would be ideal]. But we only played one match here. Our batsmen showed their courage, hopefully we'll have confidence [in Johannesburg]," he added.

On the other hand, du Plessis was delighted about his personal performance especially considering his lean run of form in the recent past — which also saw him dismissed for a pair during the first Test in Centurion.

"I finally got a hundred at my favourite ground. It's an amazing place to play cricket,” said du Plessis. “After a game where you don't score runs, you still feel the pressure, the expectation. Lot of time and energy spent on the headspace I wanted to be in for this match, reflect on when I've done well, block out the noise. It was a true test of my character, making sure that's what I go to first under pressure, and good to see I managed to get that right."

The Proteas skipper was also proud of his team for securing their seventh home series win in a row.

“We come in, the crowd is great, closest to a Barmy Army atmosphere, it's a lot of fun coming here, and our bowlers like it, there's usually something for the bowlers. [Seven series wins in a row at home] We're proud of that record, we've had some big teams coming here and we've beaten them,” he said.

Du Plessis was also glad to see that the decision to play four pacers and no spinners in the second Test worked in accordance with their expectations.

“It was good discussion, thought we got it spot on. We looked at the last three years here, the opposition hasn't batted past 70 overs, so the spinner isn't going to bowl that many overs,” he said. “Playing a subcontinental team on a pitch with pace, for me it was pretty easy.”

The third and final Test between the two sides is scheduled to be played at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg from January 11, 2019.