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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shahzad on February 24, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    @Jamal Nizamani, Faisal Iqbal has played 26 Test Matches and he averages 26 which is very ordinary and you are saying he has ideal technique for these conditions.


  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    Seeing such a timid performance of the Pakistan team, I am wondering what to say and what not to say, the urge to say is as strong as Abbot's bowling display on his debut, however, there are occassions when its best to not say anything, .... and let the silence thunder within !!!!

  • Lakpriya on February 24, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    The article says "The last bowler to take seven or more wickets in an innings on debut was Australia's Jason Krejza," it was in 2008. But I think Merchant De Lange took 7 wickets in his debut against SL during their last tour to SA, 2 test if can remember.

  • Ajay on February 24, 2013, 1:58 GMT

    Hafeez at best is #7/#8 batsman - a poor man's Imran Khan (can't bowl or bat - but in the team because he can keep his mouth shut)

  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2013, 1:26 GMT

    Wait a minute... The last player to take 7 wickets or more in an innings on debut was not Jason Krejza - it was Marchant de Lange, who took 7/81 in the first innings (in 23.2 overs) for South Africa against Sri Lanka in 2011. Might want to get that one straightened out.

  • David on February 23, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    An interesting fact about the 20 bowlers who have taken a seven-for or better on Test debut: only two, Bedser and Laker, went on to take more than 150 Test wickets. And only Bedser took more than 200. The long-term stats don't look quite so good for the new boy.

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    Hafeez should not open any more. He should come down.

    Batting was expected to flop as they are average batsman. BUt their bowling has also failed. Junaid played 1 match and impressive. GUl inconsistent as always. Tanveer failed show and selectors picked up 3 debutants for big series. Keeper they selected who is worst than ajmal in batting. i would say selection committee has messed it up plus some blunders from captain & coach in selection.

    They could have had only 1 chance and that was lost in 2nd test. so 3-0 is imminent.

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    pakistan have been some what unlucky as well apart from the few selection disasters they have never been able to play irfan gul junaid ajmal in the same line up these 4 bowlers are i guess the best in the series so far for pakistan and regarding batting i think in this last match hafeez should have been drop and faisal iqbal should have been given 1 last chance with azhar ali opening and younis coming at no 3 faisal iqbal has ideal technique for these conditions he atleast deserved one chance like they gave it to farhat

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