Centurion: South Africa beat Pakistan by an innings and 18 runs on Sunday for a 3-0 series whitewash as the world's top-ranked team ended their test season in utterly dominant form.
The Proteas bowled out the tourists for 235 in their second innings late on the third day of the final Test. South Africa had made 409 batting first at Supersport Park and then bowled Pakistan out for 156 in its first innings, with debutant seam bowler Kyle Abbott taking 7-29.
Dale Steyn took 4-80 in the second innings and was backed up by Abbott (2-39) and Rory Kleinveldt (2-33), ensuring the South Africans didn't have to bat again. South Africa have won six series and now six matches in a row and last lost a test series in March 2009. They are unbeaten in 12 series, and underlined their top ranking in their final test of the 2012-13 season, having claimed the No. 1 position with an away win in England and defended it with a series victory in Australia.
The Proteas then whitewashed New Zealand 2-0 and Pakistan 3-0 in their home series, also winning Tests over the Pakistanis in Johannesburg and Cape Town. "It was a special summer," South Africa captain Graeme Smith said. A half-century partnership between Sarfraz Ahmed and Saeed Ajmal had temporarily held Pakistan together on the third day after South Africa took four wickets after lunch to reduce the tourists to 176-6.
But debutant Abbott broke that stand in among his nine wickets in his first test and South Africa swiftly moved on to an innings win inside three days at Centurion. Left-arm spinner Robin Peterson claimed the last wicket, Rahat Ali lbw for 22, but it was South Africa's potent pace attack that decided the series and was a key factor in the Proteas' ascent to the top of the test rankings.
Azhar Ali was run out for 27 to begin the afternoon slide as Pakistan went from 87-2 at the lunch break to 114-6 before Ahmed and Ajmal combined for an innings-steadying and unbeaten 62-run stand for the seventh wicket. Imran Farhat made 43 to top score for Pakistan, Ahmed had 40 and Ajmal 31, but Pakistan's batsmen ultimately couldn't match the South African fast bowlers' intensity and quality throughout the series.