South Africa v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Centurion, 2nd day February 23, 2013

Abbott's high, Hafeez's low

The second day of the Centurion Test was made memorable by one of the most spectacular debut performances by a bowler in a while. Here are the stats highlights

  • Kyle Abbott's 7 for 29 are the second-best figures on Test debut by a South African bowler, next only to Lance Klusener, who happens to be his coach at Dolphins. Klusener took 8 for 64 against India in Kolkata in 1996, but that was in India's second innings, which makes Abbott's figures the best by a South African bowler in his debut innings. Overall, eight bowlers have taken eight wickets in an innings on debut.

  • The last bowler to take seven or more wickets in an innings on debut was Australia's Jason Krejza, but he had decidedly lesser impact on the game than Abbott has had so far. Krejza toiled more than 43 overs in taking 8 for 215 in Nagpur in 2008 as India plundered 441 in their first innings and won the match by 172 runs. It's highly unlikely that the result in Centurion will be anything other than a comprehensive victory for South Africa.

  • For Pakistan's batting line-up, on the other hand, this has been a largely forgettable series. After lasting just 29.1 overs in the first innings in Johannesburg, they were bundled out in 46.4 overs here, and have now been bowled out for less than 200 three times in five innings. Their series average of 19.49 runs per wicket so far is their sixth-lowest in a series of three of more Tests.

  • Pakistan's top-order batting has been in complete shambles in the series so far, with the average partnerships for the first and third wickets being less than 13 runs per wicket (12 for the first wicket, and 11.20 for the third). The aggregate of 72 runs for the opening wicket is their fourth-lowest in a series in which the openers have batted together at least six times. The aggregate of 56 for the third wicket is the third-lowest, with a five innings cut-off (though Pakistan have one more opportunity to ensure that the third-wicket tally looks more respectable by the end of the series).

  • For several Pakistan batsmen this series has been an almighty struggle, but none has fared as badly as Mohammad Hafeez, their opener. His scores in the series read thus: 6, 2, 17, 0, 18, 0 - 43 runs at an average of 7.16. His aggregate of 43 runs is the lowest for a Pakistan opener who has batted at least five times in a series. For all teams with the same cut-off, this is the tenth-lowest.

  • The one Pakistan player who enhanced his reputation today was Rahat Ali, who became only the fourth bowler from the country, after Mushtaq Ahmed, Waqar Younis and Saeed Ajmal, to take six wickets in an innings in a Test in South Africa.

  • One of Rahat Ali's victims was AB de Villiers, but not before de Villiers had scored his third Test hundred in 18 innings against Pakistan. De Villiers had also scored a hundred in the first Test in Johannesburg, making this only the third instance of him getting two hundreds in a series.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter