x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

South Africa v Pakistan: Proteas get debutant delight in Kyle Abbott

Kyle Abbott's 7-29 was the second-best figures by a South African on Test debut as Protreas roll past Pakistan.

Kyle Abbott of South Africa, centre, celebrates the wicket of Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal during day 2 of their third Test match on Saturday.  Lee Warren / Getty Images
Kyle Abbott of South Africa, centre, celebrates the wicket of Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal during day 2 of their third Test match on Saturday. Lee Warren / Getty Images

CENTURION, South Africa // Kyle Abbott took seven wickets on debut to lead South Africa toward a series whitewash as Pakistan were made to follow on in the third Test.

Abbott's 7-29 represented the second-best figures by a South African on Test debut, and it helped South Africa bowl Pakistan out for 156 in the evening session on the second day.

That left Pakistan 253 runs short of South Africa's first-innings total, and Proteas skipper Graeme Smith had no hesitation in enforcing the follow-on.

Dale Steyn responded by bowling Mohammad Hafeez with the first delivery of the second innings, and Pakistan closed the day on 14-1 – still 239 runs behind South Africa.

Only Lance Klusener, who took 8-64 against India in Kolkata in 1996, has better figures than Abbott among South African debutants, while nobody has enjoyed a better return from an innings at Centurion.

"It's been a special day and special being around these guys, seeing how the No 1 team in the world does their thing," Abbott said. "I haven't got any sleep over the last two days, but for the first time my hands aren't sweating and my stomach is not in a knot."

Abbott had spoken earlier in the week about the positive influence that Klusener, who coaches Abbott at South African franchise the Dolphins, has had on the fast bowler – something he reiterated last night.

"Lance has been unbelievable," Abbott said. "He has helped me on the mental side of things, being slightly more aggressive, and has given me the push I needed."

The 25-year-old Abbott was only picked for the third Test after injuries to Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis, but made an impact in his first over of Test cricket when he had Hafeez caught at gully by Dean Elgar.

Vernon Philander, Steyn and Abbott had Pakistan at 95-5 and their long tail was exposed. Wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed put up resistance alongside Younis for more than 10 overs, but Abbott blew away the tail with two double-wicket maidens.

First, he had both Ahmed and Saeed Ajmal caught at first slip by Smith in consecutive deliveries, and then he dismissed Ehsan Adil and Mohammad Irfan four overs later. When Younis was trapped lbw in Abbott's next over for 33 – Pakistan's top score – the innings was wrapped up and Pakistan were left with a mountain to climb if they areto avoid a heavy defeat.

"If we have one good partnership here, we can fight it out," Hafeez said. "We are very capable of scoring runs on any tracks, but we need things to change."

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE