Round-up: Abbott helps South Africa rout Pakistan in Test series


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The Independent Online

Debutant Kyle Abbott took nine wickets as South Africa completed a 3-0 series sweep over Pakistan with a crushing innings and 18-run victory in the third and final Test at Centurion yesterday.

Pakistan were bowled out for 235 in their second innings, having managed 156 in their first in reply to South Africa's 409.

Abbott was the pick of the South African seamers on a helpful wicket, recording match figures of 9 for 68. The 25-year-old took the scalps of Imran Farhat (43) and Ehsan Adil (12) to add to his seven wickets from the first innings.

Starting the day on 14 for 1, Pakistan showed some fighting spirit losing only Younus Khan (11), who played a thick edge off Dale Steyn to Graeme Smith at first slip, in the morning session.

But the tourists began to implode after lunch. Azhar Ali (27) and Farhat put on 54 for the third wicket before the former ran himself out in calamitous fashion. Farhat worked the ball to fine leg and after running one, Ali turned for a second at the wicketkeeper's end but was no match for Steyn's bullet throw from the boundary.

Abbott picked up his eighth of the match when Farhat slashed at a wide delivery and was caught by wicketkeeper AB de Villiers.

Saeed Ajmal (31) and Sarfraz Ahmed put on 69 for the seventh wicket, but the former was finally trapped lbw by Steyn.

Sarfraz (40) followed soon afterwards when he top-edged Steyn to Dean Elgar at third man and Ehsan Adil tried to pull Abbott but only succeeded in ballooning the ball to Rory Kleinveldt at mid-on.

The final pair of Mohammad Irfan (6 not out) and Rahat Ali (22) hung around for another 33 runs before Rahat was lbw to Robin Peterson to end the match.

Meanwhile, a career-high 206 not out from Mahendra Singh Dhoni put India firmly on top in the first Test against Australia after three days in Chennai. Dhoni smashed 22 fours and five sixes in just 243 balls as India finished on 515 for 8, a lead of 135 over Australia's first-innings effort of 380 all out.

Virat Kohli made 107 while Sachin Tendulkar could only add 10 to his overnight score of 71.