Markram heroics can't save Proteas as Pakistan claim series whitewash

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Aiden Markram (AFP)
Aiden Markram (AFP)

Hassan Ali’s first 10-wicket haul in Test cricket helped Pakistan to a 95-run win against South Africa in the second Test Rawalpindi and a 2-0 series win.

SCORECARD| Pakistan v SA - 2nd Test

Pakistan bowled South Africa out for 274 after setting them a target of 370 in the afternoon session.

Ali, who took 10/114 in the match and Shaheen Shah Afridi, shared nine wickets in the second innings as South Africa wilted in the heat of the new ball.

South Africa endured another collapse, this time losing 7 wickets for 33 runs in what has become a common thread in the past three years. 

This means South Africa have not only lost nine consecutive Tests on the sub-continent, but they’ve yet to win a Test in Asia since July 2014 when they beat Sri Lanka by 153 runs in Galle.

From a team that between 2008 and 2014 was the flag bearer of how to compete in Asia, they have lost series to India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka since 2015.

In those particular series relinquished to those teams, they also haven’t won a game.

Ali (5/60), the bustling fast-medium bowler who got the old and new ball to swing, claimed the key scalps of Rassie van der Dussen (48) and Faf du Plessis (five) with the old nut.

With the new ball, he prised out centurion Aiden Markram (108) and outgoing Test captain Quinton de Kock with consecutive balls to ease Pakistan’s nerves.

Ali removed Van der Dussen with the third ball of the day after SA resumed on 127/1. It was a wicked in-ducker that detonated Van der Dussen’s leg-stump.

Four overs later, he trapped Du Plessis in front with the same sort of delivery to reduce South Africa to 135/3.

Temba Bavuma (61) and Markram partnered well for a 106-run stand for the fourth wicket that raised hopes.

The duo, who are clearly the future lynchpins of South Africa’s batting, regardless of the rancid state that it is in right now, batted sensibly against both spin and pace.

Markram, who has been batting with a fair bit of renewed application against spin, raised his fifth Test 100 and his second fourth innings triple figure score off 226 balls with 12 fours and four sixes.

He was Hasan’s third victim and the first with the second new ball when he edged to Imran Butt at second slip.

De Kock’s desperately disappoint series continued when he edged Ali to Butt at second slip to depart without scoring.

That mean South Africa slid from 241/3 to 241/5 and there was no way back for the visitors.

The final nail in the coffin was when Bavuma feathered Afridi (4/51) to Mohammad Rizwan, with Bavuma’s 50 coming off 96 balls.

George Linde (four) then picked out Faheem Ashraf at point to give Hassan his fifth of the innings and 10th of the match.

Afridi then collected Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada for ducks in three balls in the 91st over before Wiaan Mulder (20) was castled by Yasir Shah (1/56) to end proceedings.

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