Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/2/24/abbott-ignites-on-proteas-debut

Abbott ignites on Proteas debut

UPDATED 24 February, 2013 10:30AM AEST |

Debutant Kyle Abbott claimed stunning figures of 7-29 as South Africa took full control of the third Test against Pakistan on Saturday.

Abbott – called into the Proteas team on Friday as a replacement for the injured Jacques Kallis (calf) – showcased the superb depth in South Africa's fast bowling ranks with a performance that saw the hapless Pakistan skittled for just 156 in their first innings.

That left them 253 runs in arrears of South Africa's first innings total of 409, with the hosts enforcing the follow-on at Centurion.

Pakistan did not get through a tricky nine-over spell before stumps unscathed, either, as they finished a disastrous day at 1-14.

South Africa resumed day two at 6-334 with wicketkeeper AB de Villiers unbeaten on 98.

De Villiers notched his 16th Test century in the second over after hitting Rahat Ali (6-127 off 27.2 overs) through point for three.

On the very next ball Vernon Philander (74) was dropped, with confusion between Pakistan wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed and Mohammad Hafeez at first slip giving the Proteas seamer a lifeline.

It looked like it might have been a costly mistake as De Villiers (121) and Philander scored freely but the latter was eventually dismissed by part-timer Younis Khan (1-28 off six).

De Villiers' 215-ball stay at the crease, which included 15 fours, was brought to an end when Asad Shafiq took a superb catch at deep square leg off the bowling of Rahat.

Quicks Rory Kleinveldt (zero) and Abbott (13) came and went quickly but South Africa's imposing total gave their bowlers confidence.

Imran Farhat (30) and Hafeez (18) gave the tourists a solid start as they saw off 16 overs of sharp pace bowling from South Africa.

But Philander (2-30 off 10) kept plugging away and he eventually provided the first wicket when he trapped Farhat lbw.

Hafeez fell in the next over as Abbott claimed his first Test wicket from just his sixth delivery.

The circumstances around the dismissal were controversial as Hafeez stood his ground despite Dean Elgar claiming a catch at gully. Replays proved that the initial decision – which was out – was correct and Hafeez trudged off.

The wickets continued to fall as Philander bowled Azhar Ali (six) and Abbott added the wicket of Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq (10) to his earlier scalp.

Dale Steyn (1-25 off 12) chipped in with a wicket of his own when he removed Shafiq lbw before Abbott took over.

The 25-year-old – who took the most wickets for the Dolphins in South Africa's domestic competition this year – claimed the last five scalps in less than seven overs.

Sarfraz (17), Saeed Ajmal (zero), Ehsan Adil (nine), Mohammad Irfan (zero) and Younis Khan (33) all became Abbott victims as Pakistan lost their last five wickets for just 24 runs.

And as if their day could not get any worse, Pakistan – who were made to follow on – lost Hafeez (zero) when he was bowled by Steyn from the very first ball of their second innings.

Azhar Ali (five not out) and Younis Khan (eight not out) took the tourists to stumps but they are still a massive 239 runs adrift of their opponents, who can bat again if needed.

South Africa lead the three-match series 2-0.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 24 February, 2013 10:28AM AEST

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