Faf du Plessis lauds Duanne Olivier for his match-winning spell against Pakistan
"That was probably the match-turning moment."
Updated - Dec 29, 2018 2:33 pm
Hashim Amla scored his first Test fifty in eleven innings, scoring an unbeaten 63 as South Africa beat Pakistan by six wickets inside three days to take the lead in the series. Chasing 149, South Africa were in a spot of bother after losing Aiden Markram for a duck. However, a 119-run stand between Amla and fellow half-centurion set the Proteas on their way for the impressive win.
The architect of the big win on a fast-paced track was South Africa pacer Duanne Olivier. The lanky pacer had found a place in the playing eleven only because star pacer Vernon Philander was not fit for the game. And boy did he make the chance count as he tore apart the visitors’ batting lineup in both the innings.
Olivier managed to steal the limelight in a game which will always be remembered for Dale Steyn becoming South Africa’s most successful Test bowler. In the first innings, the right-arm pacer claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests, helping the hosts bundle Pakistan for a modest 181. He replicated his remarkable performance in the second innings too, picking up yet another five-wicket haul as Pakistan were all out for 190.
Du Plessis lavishes praise on Olivier:
Following the impressive win in Centurion, a delighted South Africa skipper was all praise for Olivier. In fact, du Plessis went on to compare Olivier’s performance with the famous match-winning spell of Mitchell Johnson in 2014 when the former Australia speedster had taken 12 wickets at SuperSport Park in February 2014.
“That was probably the match-turning moment,” said Du Plessis after the Proteas’ victory.
“They got themselves in a position where we needed wickets. That period was an incredible effort by the bowlers, especially Duanne. To bowl short for that long takes a lot out of the body, as a captain it was great to have and it reminded me of Mitchell Johnson a few years ago, very uncomfortable to face,” he added.
The second of three-match Test series will start on Thursday, January 3 in Cape Town.