South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Cape Town

Smith scales another peak

Stats highlights from South Africa's series-clinching win in Cape Town

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan

February 17, 2013

Comments: 13 | Text size: A | A

Graeme Smith scored a half-century in his 100th Test as captain, South Africa v Pakistan, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 2nd day, February 2, 2013
Graeme Smith now holds the record for the most Test wins as captain © AFP
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Following a middle-order collapse, Pakistan were unable to defend a below-par target. Here are highlights from a day which saw South Africa improve further on their top record in Cape Town.

  • With the four-wicket win, Graeme Smith has become the most successful Test captain, with 49 wins in 101 Tests. He went past the previous record of Ricky Ponting, who won 48 out of 77 Tests. Smith is also two wins away from drawing level with Ponting as the captain with the most wins in home Tests (29).

  • South Africa's win is their eighth in the last ten Tests in Cape Town. Of the 26 Tests they have played at the venue since their readmission in 1991, they have lost just three (all against Australia). Of the nine series played between South Africa and Pakistan, South Africa have won six. Their only series loss against Pakistan came in 2003-04 in Pakistan. South Africa have won their last six series (three home and three away). Their last series defeat came at home against Australia in 2009. The last time South Africa had a winning streak of six series came between the home series against India in 2006-07 and the tour of Bangladesh in 2007-08.

  • For only the sixth time since their readmission in 1991, South Africa won a home Test despite conceding the lead in the first innings. Click here for a list of matches when South Africa have batted first and here for a list of matches when South Africa have batted second. Three of these wins have come in Tests played in Cape Town.

  • Saeed Ajmal's 10 for 147 is his third ten-wicket haul in Tests and first against South Africa. It is also the second-best match bowling performance by a Pakistan bowler against South Africa. Ajmal has now picked up two ten-wicket hauls in Test defeats. The last Pakistan bowler to pick up a ten-wicket match haul in a loss is Wasim Akram in 2000. Akram is also the only bowler to pick up more ten-wicket match hauls (3) in Test defeats. Ajmal's match bowling performance is the fourth-best by a visiting bowler in Tests in South Africa since South Africa's readmission.

  • Vernon Philander's 9 for 99 is his third-best match bowling performance. He now has 87 wickets in 15 Tests at an average of 16.81 with nine five-fors. Philander's performance is the third-best match bowling performance by a South Africa bowler against Pakistan. Dale Steyn is on top with 11 for 60 in the first Test in Johannesburg.

  • The win is only the fourth by a margin of four or fewer wickets for South Africa in home Tests since their readmission. Their narrowest margin of victory (in terms of wickets) came against Sri Lanka in Centurion in 2002. The innings run-rate of 4.21 is the third-highest for South Africa in the fourth innings in matches since their readmission (min 40 overs played).

  • From a score of 147 for 4, Pakistan lost their last six wickets for just 22 runs. There have been only two previous occasions when Pakistan have lost their last five wickets for fewer runs.

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

I think it's time now Saffers travel to sub continent to see how their bowlers fare up in those conditions. India well may be a great option for them just to test themselves at those flat wickets. Leaving that aside a great performance by South Africa. They are matchless right now.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 13:17 GMT)

South Africa well have the potential to break the Aussie record of 16-0 & 20-0!

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 18, 2013, 11:20 GMT)

@Keith Le Roux. Pakistan were like that always. They were looked as a good unit when Wasim, Waqar were on song. They had a much better batting unit too - Inzi, Yusuf etc where there, but never delivered.On the other hand, SL did it on ODIs and India did now and then in some Tests when there was Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly , Zaheer etc were in the team. They won at least one test each in Aus, Eng, SA. With the help of their batting power, India won test series in Eng and leveled in SA . If you takeout the infamous 2nd test in Australia, India did well there too to win 3rd test and were in good position on 4th test too. And those performances earn them no:1 status for a short while. I can't see any other sub-continent teams in that position soon.

Posted by ravi_hari on (February 18, 2013, 11:07 GMT)

Smith has played in just 8 matches as an ordinary player. Naturally most of his matches were as captain after taking over the reigns very early in his career. He always had the luxury of having world class players in his team and how he managed their egos was the key to his success. He slowly built his aura around the team and soon became its boss. His batting also blossomed and he lead from the front in both tests and ODIs. He did have problems against spin and the likes of Zaheer but each time he came back to score big hundreds and silenced his detractors. With no immediate threat to his position or form, I am sure he will continue for atleast 2 more years and end up winning another 10 tests. Climbing to the No.1 position is the highlight of his career and if only he could win a World Cup it would have been most satisfying. Under him SA has come out of the chokers tag a bit but still continue to choke against quality opposition. Yet it is an outstanding performance. Kudos Smith.

Posted by arvind.Kejriwal.AAP_A_Better_INDIA_ on (February 18, 2013, 11:06 GMT)

Greame Smith said in post-match presentation - "The conditions reminded me of the subcontinent. "

Exactly ! No wonder, when ball got old, it literally stopped moving and bouncing. That's why Pak batsmen were able to put up some fight. And even on dead track (as per SA standards) like this, SA beat Pak with one bowler short (Morkel), poor umpiring and ordinary spinner R. Peterson. So there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that SA are real #1 side.

But SA need to find a genuine wicket-taking spinner soon or at least someone who could put pressure on batsmen (may be Botha? or Phangiso).

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 9:28 GMT)

It would be far more interesting (given that this was after all a test) for the stats to compare the performance against SA's entire test history - not just since readmission. Limiting the sample as has been done here is distortive - SA's test pedigree goes back into the 1890s.

Posted by arvind.Kejriwal.AAP_A_Better_INDIA_ on (February 18, 2013, 7:19 GMT)

Congratulations to SA for winning the series. Pak tried hard but SA showed again why they are #1. I was amazed to see Ajmal so happy/ relived after getting his 10th wicket of the match when Pak was on the verge of losing the match and the series. It seemed he was playing for his personal milestone not team's win. He surely is a Great Bowler but not a match winner. #InspiredFromSRTBashers

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 7:02 GMT)

Well done Pakistan. I though you played quite well in this last test. A vast improvement from the 1st test. I see Pakistan very soon (if not there already!) as being the best that the sub continent has to offer. SL and India are falling way behind. Pakistan's bowling unit dwarfs (literally and figuratively) that of both Ind and SL. They then also have a few quality youngsters in the batting dept. Augurs well for Pakistan going forward. Cannot wait for cricket to return to Pakistan. Pakistan will be the holder of the no.4 spot and perhaps even sneak into the top 3 sooner rather than later. SA, Eng, Aus, Pak that is the top 4 and I don't see that changing any time soon (no.'s 2 - 4 may switch, but that is it really).

Posted by   on (February 18, 2013, 3:24 GMT)

Wondering why Philander was not bowling after the fall of 9th Pakistani wicket to claim a 10 for. I wonder if G Smith thought that Petersen or Steyn were a better bet.

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