Pakistan lost seven wickets inside the first session on day four to slip from 153/3 to 273 all out in a chase of 381, ceding a series whitewash to a dominant South Africa.
Coming into the fourth day of the final Test at 153/3, Pakistan would have entertained thoughts of giving South Africa a run for their money. But a tame batting display meant they succumbed to a 107-run defeat in the morning session on Monday, 14 January.
The carnage began soon: Duanne Olivier, who has been phenomenal throughout the series, took two wickets off consecutive balls to remove Babar Azam and Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Azam departed for 21 – an addition of just four to his overnight total – when he was bounced out by a rising beauty. Sarfaraz, who was expecting another steepler, lost his off stump next ball, failing to adjust his stance to counter the good length ball.
At the other end, Asad Shafiq, resuming on 48, had gone past his fifty and Pakistan’s hopes were pinned on him. But Vernon Philander had him caught at second slip with one that rose a little extra, having his victim for 65.
Thereon, with victory improbable, Pakistan decided to play their strokes more frequently, an approach that brought Shadab Khan some reward, but not the others. Faheem Ashraff fell for 15 when he tried to cut Rabada from too close to his body, only managing a thick edge to see Aiden Markram leap and take a blinder at gully.
Markram was rewarded with another catch in the same position off Rabada’s next over, when Amir fell for four chasing a wide delivery. Hasan Ali had some success, including a brilliant pull shot over deep mid-wicket off Rabada in his 14-ball 22. Rabada had his revenge soon though as Hasan tried to repeat the stroke, only to sky it for a simple catch back to the bowler.
Shadab Khan had looked good and seemed set to bring up a consolation half-century, but that dream was cut shot at 47 as a mix-up led to Mohammad Abbas being run out.
With 147 runs including his fourth Test century, and seven catches behind the stumps,
Olivier and Rabada closed out with three wickets each to finish the series as the top two wicket-takers with 24 and 17 respectively. Steyn, who didn’t share the spoils on day four, finished with his two top-order scalps from the previous day, while Philander had one.
Dean Elgar thus had his first win as captain, in his second game in charge.
With his 129 runs in South Africa’s second innings and seven catches behind the stumps, Quinton de Kock was named the Player of the Match, while Olivier was chosen Player of the Series.