SA captain Faf du Plessis has reason to be happy after victory over Pakistan
Having recorded a seventh straight series win on home soil South Africa‚ captain Faf du Plessis had reason to beam after victory over Pakistan on Sunday.
His team had just completed a nine-wicket win to take a two-nil lead in the three-Test series.
Having already won the first Test in Centurion‚ victory here means the final Test at the Wanderers starting on Friday is now a dead rubber.
“I’m happy that we are dominating teams at the moment‚” said Du Plessis‚ who was especially pleased as his side had made a conscious decision not to drop Test matches at home.
“Not too long ago we were No7 in the world and losing a few series and not playing the way we liked.
"The first thing we said was that we need to win home series. We need to take care of them and play well and consistent.”
They’ve been reasonably consistent overall since Ottis Gibson took over as coach.
They’ve won 10 of the 14 series they’ve been involved in under the Barbadian.
“It is tough to go abroad for us as it is for Pakistan to come here‚" Du Plessis said.
"That’s why in a home series this needs to be a fortress. We take pride in that.
“We are a team that focuses on being mentally tough.
"I feel that is the area where things can go your way or not going your way. It is about fronting up to the challenge in front of you. To be mentally ready to go whatever happens.
"We want to be the stronger team mentally.”
On Sunday‚ South Africa won the second Test by nine wickets just 47 minutes into the fourth day when Dean Dean Elgar hit a rank long hop down the leg side for four.
Although the winning target was small‚ Theunis de Bruyn found another way of getting out.
Promoted up the order after Aiden Markram bruised a thigh on the third day‚ De Bruyn clipped a four through midwicket but soon after Mohammad Abbas dropped one short triggering the De Bruyn hook.
The under-the-cosh batsman only succeeded in getting a gentle top edge which keeper Safraz Ahmed grabbed gleefully.
Short of big runs Hashim Amla also found a way of not staying the course. He was struck on the right bicep trying to get out of the way of a Mohammad Amir.
After being treated on the field Amla left for the dressing room for more intensive treatment.
Elgar and Du Plessis‚ however‚ saw the team home.
To be fair though‚ it can be reasonably argued Pakistan lost this Test on the opening day. They reached lunch after being asked to bat on 75/5. Their eventual 177 all out already looked hopelessly inadequate once South Africa reached 123/2.
Captain Safraz Ahmed lamented his team’s batting and bowling.
“There is a big difference between their bowling and ours. Our bowling simply wasn’t up to the mark in this mark‚" Ahmed said.
“You look at our bowlers bowling at 127‚ 128 (km per hour) and their bowlers bowling at 145. If you have that lack of pace your are not going to get wickets.
“I don’t know. It was also like this when I came in in 2013. I don’t know Cape Town‚ what going on here. For me they are better than us‚” said Safraz.
“Definitely there is a lack of discipline. When the ball goes away definitely there are some problems. It was better in the second innings. That is how you play.
“We need to bat like that in Johannesburg. Also we need to take 20 wickets.”
Source: TMG Digital.