South African fast bowler Duanne Olivier was happy to play a part in the Proteas series win over Pakistan, as the hosts completed a 3-0 clean sweep on the fourth day of the Johannesburg Test.The 26-year-old Olivier was the architect of Pakistan’s downfall through the series, having claimed 24 wickets at an average of 14.70 and a strike-rate of 22.00. He was awarded the player of the series after the hosts registered a 107-run win at the Wanderers on Monday (January 14).
“At the end of the day, it is a team effort,” he said at the post-match presentation. “I am glad to be contributing to the team’s cause.
“In the Wanderers, there is some bounce and you don’t need to bowl all that short and you need to pitch it up fuller; but when I saw my pitch map, I was too short.
“Each bowler is different and each of them brings something different to the table. They batted well, got a bit of a partnership towards the end, but we did really well to pull it back.”
Stand-in captain Dean Elgar, who had to lead the side in the absence of the suspended Faf du Plessis, regarded this win as one of the best he’s been a part of and was upbeat about his captaincy record.
“I have a fifty-percent win record now and I’ll happily retire with it (laughs).
“We don’t have a lot of Tests in this year – five of them, and I’ve spoken to the boys of what we need from these Tests. We have some temperamental quicks. They buy into your plans, are awesome sports and incredible cricketers. I’m extremely proud, and I don’t want to take anything away from our efforts.”
Quinton de Kock was handed the player of the match award for his century in the second innings which led to the home side posting a massive 381 runs for Pakistan to chase in the second innings. The knock of 129 was even more special for the wicketkeeper-batsman as he had failed to register a three-figure score since January 2017.
“Any Test century would mean a lot to me,” said de Kock after the game. “I have worked hard on my game over the last couple of years and it is nice to see the results coming out well.
Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed was disappointed that his team was unable to perform with the bat when needed but credited Olivier for his performance throughout the three Tests.
“We were in a very nice situation after the first day,” said Sarfraz. “We just didn’t capitalize with the bat and their bowlers bowled really well.
“Olivier was one of the best bowlers in the series; he bowled really well and really fast,” he signed off.
First Published: January 14, 2019, 5:34 PM IST