Sun, 17 Jan 2021

The Proteas are off to Pakistan for two Test matches and three T20s - from 26 January to February 14 - in what will be their first tour to the country in 14 years.

While the tour is historic in nature for that reason, it also presents the Proteas a fantastic opportunity to show that they are making significant strides under the leadership of head coach Mark Boucher and skipper Quinton de Kock.

A 2-0 Test series win against Sri Lanka on home soil over the festive season was a start, but this trip - particularly the two Test matches in Karachi and Rawalpindi - will be significantly more challenging.

As is always the case when touring the subcontinent, spin will play a major factor, as it did in 2007.

Here, Sport24 takes a trip down memory lane and recalls what happened the last time the Proteas were in Pakistan.

The tour was exactly a month long - starting on 29 September and ending on 29 October - and it comprised of two Test matches and five ODIs.

1st Test, Karachi: SA won by 160 runs

Graeme Smith won the toss, opted to bat and the Proteas piled on 450 in their first innings. Their top order was Smith, Herschelle Gibbs, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Ashwell Prince and AB de Villiers - some of the best to ever play for this side in one unit. Kallis made 155, De Villiers 77 and Gibbs 54.

The Proteas then bowled Pakistan out for 291 thanks largely to Paul Harris's 5/71.

A second century from Kallis - he finished 100* - saw the Proteas declare on 264/7 in their second innings, making the game safe.

Then, in such familiar fashion, it was Dale Steyn (5/56) who bowled the Proteas to a victory that ensured they could not lose the series. It was a clinic from the Proteas, with Pakistan eventually bundled 263 as Kallis proved once again why he was destined to go down as a modern day great.

2nd Test, Lahore: Match drawn

The Proteas won the toss and batted again, but this time nobody could capitalise on their starts. Smith (46), Kallis (59), Prince (63), De Villiers (45) and Boucher (54) took the Proteas to 357 all out.

That looked to be enough when Pakistan were skittled for just 206 after Makhaya Ntini (3/42) and Harris (3/57) did the bulk of the damage.

In South Africa's second innings, Smith and Kallis were at their best, effectively batting South Africa to a series win. The pair put on a 207-run partnership for the third wicket as the Proteas declared on 305/4. Smith made 133 and Kallis brought up his third century of the series with a knock of 107*.

To their credit, Pakistan stood their ground with the bat and saved the game after Younis Khan's 130 - they finished 316/4 - but it was South Africa who emerged as 1-0 winners in the series.

Kallis, with 421 runs in four innings - including three centuries and a half-century - was the only option for man-of-the-series.

1st ODI, Lahore: SA won by 45 runs

The Proteas batted first and carded 294/5 with Gibbs (102 off 128) and De Villiers (103* off 95) putting on 137 together. That would prove to be enough, with the hosts all out for 249. Shaun Pollock, with a point to prove having been left out of the Test side, was miserly for 0/30 (10), but the wicket-taking damage was done by Ntini (4/69 in 9).

2nd ODI, Lahore: Pakistan won by 25 runs

Pakistan finally had a chance to bat first, and they responded by carding 265/9. Mohammad Yousuf (117 off 143) and Shoaib Malik (56 off 52) held the innings together. In response, the Proteas buckled and were well beaten, eventually bowled all out in the last over for 240. Only Smith (65 off 96) offered any resistance worth noting.

3rd ODI, Faisalabad: Pakistan won by 6 wickets

This was not a good day for the tourists. Smith won the toss and opted to bat, but the Proteas were all out for 197. Smith made 48 and Justin Kemp 42, but it was never going to be enough. Pakistan cruised home with 11 balls and six wickets to spare, taking a 2-1 series lead with two matches to play.

4th ODI, Multan: SA won by 7 wickets

Fighting to stay alive in the series, the Proteas bowlers were superb as they restricted Pakistan to 230/9 from their 50 overs. Pollock (1/37 in 10) and Ntini (1/26 in 10) were brilliant up front. The Proteas batters made light work of the chase and the contest was over after just 37.4 overs. Pollock made 90 (84) coming in as a No 3 pinch hitter. That, with Smith's 81 (103), was enough to tie the series up at 2-2 heading into the fifth and final ODI.

5th ODI, Lahore: SA won by 14 runs

They say that, in big games, your big players step up and that was certainly the case in this cliffhanger to decide the series. Batting first, South Africa's 233/9 never felt like enough. Kallis's 86 (130) was so important to the Proteas cause, but at the break it was Pakistan who were favourites. Man-of-the-match Ntini (4/61 in 9) and Albie Morkel (4/44 in 8.3) had other ideas, however, and their efforts saw Pakistan bowled all out for 219 in 46.3 overs. It was the perfect day for the Proteas in the field with even JP Duminy (1/6 in 1) taking they key wicket of Yousuf (53 off 88) in his only over. Ntini, with 12 wickets in five matches, was also named man-of-the-series.

Given that they were 2-1 down with two to play, it was a remarkable effort from Smith's Proteas to win the ODI series.

In the end, the South Africans returned home as 1-0 Test series winners and 3-2 ODI series winners.

Source: News24

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