Match Over - South Africa won by innings and 120 runs + Match Details

Match Details

  • Toss: South Africa, who chose to bat
  • Venue: St George's Park, Port Elizabeth
  • Referee: BC Broad
  • When: 26 Dec 2017, 13:30 SAST
  • Winner: South Africa
  • Man of the Match: AK Markram


  • Umpire1: PR Reiffel
  • Umpire2: RA Kettleborough
  • Third Umpire: MA Gough



Overs: 78.3 / 0.0

South Africa



Overs: 30.1 / 0.0


6.26pm That's all from Port Elizabeth. Only 907 balls in this Test as South Africa complete a comfortable innings victory. Slightly damp finish to this landmark game, but that's how it goes sometimes. Lots for South Africa to be happy about, ahead of their series against India. For Zimbabwe, back to the drawing board. Here's Karthik's report for you to catch up on. For now, it's good bye from Varun Shetty and myself. Hope you enjoyed ESPNcricinfo's coverage of this (sic) four-day Test. Tada!

6.11pm Time for the presentation. Markram or Morkel (or Maharaj) for Man of the Match? Mmm. Let's find out.

First up, the Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer. He says: "We knew it was always going to be tough. When we saw how the ball moved around under the lights, we knew it was tough, especially with their attack. But we prepared, and mentally, too, but the end of the day they were too good for us. Against Sri Lanka and West Indies, they were flat wickets. So this was more about gearing up mentally and tightening our techniques, which let us down. I don't think we were overwhelmed by the atmosphere. We were surprised seeing the ball move so much, and we didn't assess the conditions. Just one of those things. We play a tri-series against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in January, then Dubai and then the qualifiers. Work to do."

Next, the winning captain, AB de Villiers. He says: "Happy to return. You could see I was enjoying myself. Nice to get some runs, would've liked some more. Always a good crowd here, India next so taking some confidence out of this. My back is okay, not so bad at the moment. De Kock should be okay, the scans didn't show too much damage. He just needs some rest. Faf will be back for the India series, and they will all be fit so our selectors will have the good problem of finding just the XI. We bowled exceptionally well, we were quite happy with that spicy wicket. Still had to do the basics well, landed the ball in good areas for long spells. The slip-ers and myself were in the game all the time. Goes well with some time on our legs ahead of the India series. We lost a lot of late wickets, but we structured our innings well. Aiden Markram's in great form, and it doesn't seem like he's losing touch. Temba was good too. Overall, happy with our batting. The ball moves about late in day-night Tests, so it's important not to lose wickets in the evening. It's just about having the teams adapt, and understand the structures."

Now, the Man of the Match. The award goes to Aiden Markram, for his 125 in the first innings. He says: "Pretty tough wicket, but as a batting unit we had the best of the conditions. Was good to get stuck in there. It's been a good start to my career, enjoyed every minute of it. There are tough times and easy times, and helps you grow as a person. Happy to take my opportunity. Learnt more about my game, my role, my strengths and to avoid my weaknesses. You learn a lot when you're out in the middle, so that's what I wanted to do. It got easier as we batted, but I never felt in. Was a tough wicket, but got easier the more time one spends in the middle. Looking forward to the India series a lot. Very exciting for me, and it's how you want to test yourself. Want to fight against the best teams in the world, and there's a lot of good players in our team. Should be exciting."

Jigar: "South Africa would feel they are deprived of not enough match practice before India test match."

6:05pm We're done, 15 minutes before the end of session No. 5. This is the least number or balls South Africa have needed to take 20 wickets in a Test. It was also their lowest first innings total in an innings win - 309 for 9 declared. They were still batting at this time yesterday. More such bizzare stats in our bulletin after this game. Zimbabwe finds themselves on the wrong end of all of them. A pity after they practically flattened South Africa when the lights came on yesterday - remember, they'd taken 5 for 37 when South Africa decided to declare. Completely outplayed after that, and making it very clear how much they are in need of cricket at this level. A spirited performance followed by a very painful date with gravity. The lights didn't even need to come on a second time.

42.3KA Maharaj to B Muzarabani, OUT, No run, full at off stump, swipes across the line, misses it and loses his off stump. That's the match..
42.2KA Maharaj to B Muzarabani, No run, full and dropping at leg stump. Steps out and cops it on the pad after missing the flick.
42.1KA Maharaj to B Muzarabani, No run, full, dipping at off stump, spinning away from the batsman's wild swing.
End of over 42. 4 runs this over. 121/9 after 252 balls.
AG Cremer 18 (37b 4x4 0x6 ) VD Philander 7-3-10-1
B Muzarabani 10 (6b 1x4 1x6 ) more
End of over 41. 10 runs this over. 117/9 after 246 balls.
B Muzarabani 10 (6b 1x4 1x6 ) KA Maharaj 17-5-59-4
AG Cremer 14 (31b 3x4 0x6 ) more
End of over 40. 4 runs this over. 107/9 after 240 balls.
AG Cremer 14 (31b 3x4 0x6 ) VD Philander 6-3-6-1
B Muzarabani 0 (0b 0x4 0x6 ) more

NIall Litchfiel: "re Tayfield - its a pretty good bet he never took 7 wickets on day 2 though. "

End of over 39. 5 runs this over. 103/9 after 234 balls.
CB Mpofu 0 (3b 0x4 0x6 ) KA Maharaj 16-5-49-4
AG Cremer 10 (25b 2x4 0x6 ) more
End of over 38. 2 runs this over. 98/8 after 228 balls.
CB Mpofu 0 (1b 0x4 0x6 ) VD Philander 5-3-2-1
AG Cremer 5 (21b 1x4 0x6 ) more

Barry de Klerk: "I think they should take a ling dinner, and then start another test for the next two days"

End of over 37.  A maiden over! 96/7 after 222 balls.
AG Cremer 4 (19b 1x4 0x6 ) KA Maharaj 15-5-44-3
KM Jarvis 5 (7b 1x4 0x6 ) more

Victor: "A forgotten landmark 60 years in the making has been broken. K Maharaj has set the all-time record for most Test wickets in a calendar year by a South African spinner (has 46 with Zim 7-down). Beats Hugh Tayfield's mark of 43 set in 1957." --- Thanks Victor. My colleagues add that Tayfield had done it in about half the number of Tests - this is Maharaj's 11th.

End of over 36. 4 runs this over. 96/7 after 216 balls.
KM Jarvis 5 (7b 1x4 0x6 ) AL Phehlukwayo 7-2-13-3
AG Cremer 4 (13b 1x4 0x6 ) more

Rutul: "Can anyone please tell me about the minimum number of players of colour required in SA XI (If there is any). This performance from Phehlukwayo and injury to de Kock has made team selection for the first test against India really interesting!" --- They must have six players of colour on average across a season, of which two must be black African players.

End of over 35. 1 runs this over. 92/7 after 210 balls.
AG Cremer 4 (13b 1x4 0x6 ) KA Maharaj 14-4-44-3
KM Jarvis 1 (1b 0x4 0x6 ) more

If De Villiers takes three more catches, he will equal his own record - the world record he shares with Jack Russell - of 11 catches in a match.

End of over 34.  A maiden over! 91/6 after 204 balls.
AG Cremer 4 (10b 1x4 0x6 ) AL Phehlukwayo 6-2-9-3
H Masakadza 13 (32b 1x4 1x6 ) more

Arno: "So what will the conclusion of the 4-day test experiment be when it finishes within 2 days?" --- We are likely to see more four-day Tests in 2018 since there's nothing to derive from this.

End of over 33.  A maiden over! 91/6 after 198 balls.
H Masakadza 13 (32b 1x4 1x6 ) KA Maharaj 13-4-43-2
AG Cremer 4 (4b 1x4 0x6 ) more

From Bharat Seervi, stats man: If Zimbabwe get all out in the next 7 overs, this will be the shortest Test, in terms of balls, post World War II.

End of over 32. 4 runs this over. 91/6 after 192 balls.
AG Cremer 4 (4b 1x4 0x6 ) AL Phehlukwayo 5-1-9-3
H Masakadza 13 (26b 1x4 1x6 ) more
End of over 31. 7 runs this over. 87/5 after 186 balls.
H Masakadza 13 (26b 1x4 1x6 ) KA Maharaj 12-3-43-2
PJ Moor 1 (4b 0x4 0x6 ) more

5:18pm Thanks Sreshth. Zimbabwe bursting quicker than the Bitcoin bubble. Here's Andile.

Varun's back to take you through till dinner. Will Zimbabwe manage to bat this session out?

End of over 30.  A maiden over! 80/5 after 180 balls.
H Masakadza 7 (21b 1x4 0x6 ) AL Phehlukwayo 4-1-5-2
PJ Moor 0 (3b 0x4 0x6 ) more
End of over 29. 4 runs this over. 80/4 after 174 balls.
PJ Moor 0 (3b 0x4 0x6 ) KA Maharaj 11-3-36-2
RP Burl 0 (3b 0x4 0x6 ) more
End of over 28. 1 runs this over. 76/3 after 168 balls.
RP Burl 0 (3b 0x4 0x6 ) AL Phehlukwayo 3-0-5-1
Sikandar Raza 1 (1b 0x4 0x6 ) more
End of over 27.  A maiden over! 75/2 after 162 balls.
BRM Taylor 16 (36b 3x4 0x6 ) KA Maharaj 10-3-32-1
CR Ervine 23 (56b 2x4 1x6 ) more
End of over 26. 2 runs this over. 75/1 after 156 balls.
CR Ervine 23 (56b 2x4 1x6 ) AL Phehlukwayo 2-0-4-0
BRM Taylor 16 (30b 3x4 0x6 ) more
End of over 25. 4 runs this over. 73/1 after 150 balls.
BRM Taylor 15 (29b 3x4 0x6 ) KA Maharaj 9-2-32-0
CR Ervine 22 (51b 2x4 1x6 ) more
End of over 24. 2 runs this over. 69/1 after 144 balls.
CR Ervine 22 (51b 2x4 1x6 ) AL Phehlukwayo 1-0-2-0
BRM Taylor 11 (23b 2x4 0x6 ) more
End of over 23. 6 runs this over. 67/1 after 138 balls.
BRM Taylor 10 (21b 2x4 0x6 ) KA Maharaj 8-2-28-0
CR Ervine 21 (47b 2x4 1x6 ) more
End of over 22. 6 runs this over. 61/1 after 132 balls.
CR Ervine 20 (44b 2x4 1x6 ) K Rabada 7-3-12-1
BRM Taylor 5 (18b 1x4 0x6 ) more
End of over 21. 1 runs this over. 55/1 after 126 balls.
BRM Taylor 0 (14b 0x4 0x6 ) KA Maharaj 7-2-22-0
CR Ervine 19 (42b 2x4 1x6 ) more
End of over 20.  A maiden over! 54/1 after 120 balls.
BRM Taylor 0 (10b 0x4 0x6 ) K Rabada 6-3-6-1
CR Ervine 18 (40b 2x4 1x6 ) more

Abhishek Kharwa: "@Bimal: If only this Zimbabwe team was as strong as that Zimbabwe team of 2001 they would have repeated :)"

End of over 19.  A maiden over! 54/1 after 114 balls.
CR Ervine 18 (40b 2x4 1x6 ) KA Maharaj 6-2-21-0
BRM Taylor 0 (4b 0x4 0x6 ) more
End of over 18.  A maiden over! 54/1 after 108 balls.
BRM Taylor 0 (4b 0x4 0x6 ) K Rabada 5-2-6-1
CR Ervine 18 (34b 2x4 1x6 ) more
End of over 17. 5 runs this over. 54/0 after 102 balls.
CR Ervine 18 (34b 2x4 1x6 ) KA Maharaj 5-1-21-0
CJ Chibhabha 15 (52b 2x4 0x6 ) more
End of over 16. 1 runs this over. 49/0 after 96 balls.
CR Ervine 14 (30b 1x4 1x6 ) K Rabada 4-1-6-0
CJ Chibhabha 14 (50b 2x4 0x6 ) more
End of over 15. 4 runs this over. 48/0 after 90 balls.
CJ Chibhabha 13 (47b 2x4 0x6 ) KA Maharaj 4-1-16-0
CR Ervine 14 (27b 1x4 1x6 ) more
End of over 14. 8 runs this over. 44/0 after 84 balls.
CJ Chibhabha 10 (44b 2x4 0x6 ) K Rabada 3-1-5-0
CR Ervine 13 (24b 1x4 1x6 ) more
End of over 13. 6 runs this over. 36/0 after 78 balls.
CR Ervine 13 (24b 1x4 1x6 ) KA Maharaj 3-1-12-0
CJ Chibhabha 6 (38b 1x4 0x6 ) more

4.02pm We're back with the post-Tea session, and if you're a Zimbabwe fan, there's good news. Firdose Moonda tells us that Masakadza's right elbow is fine, and that despite a bit of numbness, he is expected to bat whenever the next wicket falls, or slightly later. Zimbabwe still trail by over 200, and more than 60 overs to go today. Rabada to start off.

3.45pm Tea. An infinitely better start to Zimbabwe's innings in the second innings. The bar wasn't set very high though. An embarrassing collapse, even if it can be argued that South Africa have one of the best attacks in the world and Zimbabwe are only finding their feet at the highest level again. A five-for for Morkel, the highlight of that session. Masakadza has retired hurt, and Quinton De Kock has been ruled out of the rest of this match. Nothing else to report. We'll see you in a bit.

End of over 12.  A maiden over! 30/0 after 72 balls.
CJ Chibhabha 6 (38b 1x4 0x6 ) K Rabada 2-1-1-0
CR Ervine 7 (18b 1x4 0x6 ) more

This is either a #MeaninglessStat or something to cheer. You choose: this is now the longest South Africa have gone without a wicket in this match.

End of over 11. 10 runs this over. 30/0 after 66 balls.
CR Ervine 7 (18b 1x4 0x6 ) KA Maharaj 2-1-6-0
CJ Chibhabha 6 (32b 1x4 0x6 ) more

Daniel: "To all those who want the game to grow and be more competitive, including me, it is quite simple: the top ranked nations would rather play each other now and bank NOW, than invest in something that MIGHT be, somewhere down the line. This is the sad reality when sport meets business. "

Eugene: "@Grubb... I hear you. It felt like SA struggled to get game time a few years back... And at the time we were leading the test rankings."

End of over 10. 5 runs this over. 20/0 after 60 balls.
CJ Chibhabha 6 (32b 1x4 0x6 ) K Rabada 1-0-1-0
CR Ervine 1 (12b 0x4 0x6 ) more
End of over 9. 2 runs this over. 15/0 after 54 balls.
CJ Chibhabha 6 (28b 1x4 0x6 ) KA Maharaj 1-1-0-0
CR Ervine 0 (10b 0x4 0x6 ) more

Grubb: "It's a bit of a shame that NZ, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Windies don't get to sit at the top table in cricket any longer. NZ for example has one of it's strongest test sides ever, but they will only play 28 tests in the next four years, and only 8 of them against 'top four' opposition. Someone of the class of Ross Taylor probably won't even get to play 100 games, and the next generation will never know a three test series. Pretty poor custodianship of the game."

End of over 8.  A maiden over! 13/0 after 48 balls.
CR Ervine 0 (10b 0x4 0x6 ) VD Philander 4-3-1-0
CJ Chibhabha 6 (22b 1x4 0x6 ) more

Tonderai Makeke: "while its in their best interest to groom local talent, there is an incentive to help the lower ranged teams as this will see the game more competitive and interesting when the so called big teams face the so called small teams well not unless the so called big teams enjoy facing weak opponents so as to boost their moral when they have been performing badly." --- I see where you're coming from and it would have been a great world if cricket lovers like you and I were running the game. Alas...

End of over 7. 4 runs this over. 13/0 after 42 balls.
CJ Chibhabha 6 (22b 1x4 0x6 ) M Morkel 4-0-12-0
CR Ervine 0 (4b 0x4 0x6 ) more

cooljalz: "Can Masakadza come back to bat again? If yes under what conditions? I have seen some instances when batsman comes back to bat in the end after retiring hurt. Please explain this rule." --- He can come back to bat at the fall of any wicket. The instances where you see them come back in the end is usually when they haven't fully recovered, but the team needs them to desperately get in there. Like Graeme Smith in Australia in that match

Huzefa: "Not referring to the Masakdza incident here, but the 1st thing that the lesser nations need to consider is the fitness of the players to last for longer periods without any impact on skills."

End of over 6. 1 runs this over. 9/0 after 36 balls.
CR Ervine 0 (4b 0x4 0x6 ) VD Philander 3-2-1-0
CJ Chibhabha 2 (16b 0x4 0x6 ) more

Ashok Sridharan: "I wonder why cricket boards do not have an exchange programme, allowing players from lower ranked sides to compete in the domestic tournaments in higher ranked countries while allowing FC players from the later to transfer their skills to their counterparts in lower ranked nations. Surely, that should be doable" --- It's in the best interest of cricket boards to groom their own talent, rather than help their handful of opponents out.

End of over 5. 1 runs this over. 8/0 after 30 balls.
CR Ervine 0 (1b 0x4 0x6 ) M Morkel 3-0-8-0
H Masakadza 7 (16b 1x4 0x6 ) more

Ervine gets to relive his horrors. Morkel switches to around the wicket now.

The ball seems to have struck him on the back elbow as he was trying to take it off the bat. Getting some spray treatment. He's having difficulty moving that arm now too. Looks like they're considering taking him off. He was hit flush on the elbow and the flexibility of that arm has been affected. Physio's run some tests to see how his grip is...and they've decided he should go. Masakadza walking off.

End of over 4.  A maiden over! 7/0 after 24 balls.
H Masakadza 7 (14b 1x4 0x6 ) VD Philander 2-2-0-0
CJ Chibhabha 0 (10b 0x4 0x6 ) more
End of over 3. 1 runs this over. 7/0 after 18 balls.
CJ Chibhabha 0 (10b 0x4 0x6 ) M Morkel 2-0-7-0
H Masakadza 7 (8b 1x4 0x6 ) more

We've hardly seen any of the sting Morkel showed with the new ball last night. Philander is getting it to move marginally, but the first 18 balls have been largely dormant so far in this innings.

Chhitiz Buchasi: "On the contrary I think Zimbabwe will go past the deficit and make South Africa bat again."

End of over 2.  A maiden over! 6/0 after 12 balls.
CJ Chibhabha 0 (6b 0x4 0x6 ) VD Philander 1-1-0-0
H Masakadza 6 (6b 1x4 0x6 ) more

Kunal: "I was about to send in a comment along the lines that this shows why the lower ranked teams need to play amongst themselves more. However, on second thought it could also be said that without playing teams like Aus, India, SA or England, how would they ever improve? Strange situation, this. Right now, just hoping that Zim show some fight."

Stats man Bharath Seervi had provided additional info about the shortest Test query: "Shortest in the last 50 years is 893 balls - Aus v Pak, Sharjah, 2002. Zim need to bat about 30-35 overs to beat that."

End of over 1. 6 runs this over. 6/0 after 6 balls.
H Masakadza 6 (6b 1x4 0x6 ) M Morkel 1-0-6-0
CJ Chibhabha 0 (0b 0x4 0x6 ) more

Abhishek Jain: "I have a brute feeling that Zimbabwe wont survive for more than 30 overs again, could someone tell me which is the shortest ever completed test in terms of number of overs?" --- Fewest balls in a Test was 656 balls. It was South Africa against Australia in 1932. 36 and 45 all out in reply to Australia's 145. We're past that in this match already.

CJ ChibhabhaC AB de Villiers B K Rabada1548542027.78
H MasakadzaC AB de Villiers B KA Maharaj1371341138.24
CR ErvineLBW AL Phehlukwayo2384582139.66
BRM TaylorC HM Amla B KA Maharaj1636363044.44
RP BurlC AB de Villiers B AL Phehlukwayo011400-
Sikandar RazaC AL Phehlukwayo B KA Maharaj55410125
PJ MoorC AB de Villiers B AL Phehlukwayo11660016.67
AG Cremernot out 1843374048.65
KM JarvisB VD Philander514101050
CB MpofuB KA Maharaj04300-
B MuzarabaniB KA Maharaj1013911111.11
Total 68/10
M Morkel4.001203
VD Philander7.031011.43
KA Maharaj17.355953.37
K Rabada7.031211.71
AL Phehlukwayo7.021331.86