Right then! The 4-day Test ends much earlier than anticipated! Mostly everyone expected the result but perhaps not the mauling. Zimbabwe have just been disposed off with disdain while South Africa will take a lot of confidence from this game into the India series. That ends the coverage of this game from our side. Wishing you a very happy and prosperous 2018 in advance but would request you to check what is going on in the Ashes and whether Windies can prove a match for the Kiwis in the shortest format. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
MAN OF THE MATCH, AIDEN MARKRAM says he is happy but looks pretty much composed while speaking. Stresses that it was a very difficult wicket to bat and hence it is very satisfying to score a century on that wicket. On his innings, he feels that it has enriched his character. Playing a long innings strengthens you and improves patience and that was his goal, he says. Agrees that it did get a bit easier after playing a few balls but honestly admits that HE NEVER FELT IN. Is eagerly waiting to face India as it is an opportunity to test oneself against the best team in the world. Says that he is very excited to play that series but honestly, Pommie Mbangwa looked more excited while asking the questions. Really modest guy, this Markram. Great to see.
Victorious South African skipper AB DE VILLIERS says that he is very happy with the result but would have liked to score more runs, personally and also for the team. Is thrilled to feature again in Tests. On his back issue, AB confidently says that he is fine. On Quinton de Kock's hamstring injury, de Villiers hopes that he will be fit for the first Indian Test. The scans do not reveal too much damage, he says. Is not too happy with the fact that they could get only two days of cricket but reckons that majority of the players would be fit for the upcoming Indian series, especially Faf du Plessis. Praises his bowlers for being very consistent and not letting the opposition get away at all. Hopes that they make good use of this break and come out fresh for the Indian series. Admits that a batting collapse is not what the Proteas would have wanted but is confident that they will do better against India. On playing a day-night Test, AB de Villiers feels that the night session is probably the most difficult and hence the most important session of the game. Plus the condition and colour of the ball are challenging too. But adds that once the players get used to all these factors, day-night Tests will get easier to play as well.
Visibly, Zimbabwean captain GRAEME CREMER is very disappointed. He says that they knew it was always going to be tough after playing the warm up game in Paarl. Is almost in tears as he adds that they tried their best to be prepared but unfortunately were no match for the Proteas. Feels that the pitch is more about a mental thing. They did reasonably well in Sri Lanka and at home against West Indies and could have done well here too, but did not assess the conditions that well. Does not agree that Zimbabwe were perhaps overawed by the team and the surroundings. On his team's upcoming games, Cremer informs that the team will be travelling to Bangladesh for a tri-series and then the World Cup Qualifiers. Admits that there is plenty of work to do for his side.
Excellent bowling display by the home side. Two biggest positives - Morne Morkel hitting his strides from the very first ball and Andile Phehlukwayo showing that the bowling bench strength of South Africa is very solid as they have won this game without the services of Dale Steyn or Chris Morris. Also, Keshav Maharaj is quickly rising up the ranks and showing that he is going to be a permanent fixture in this South African unit. Time for the presentations...
Did South Africa get what they wanted? Personally, I am not totally sure. Majority of their players are short of international match practice and ideally, the Proteas should have batted again and batted deep. They are going to get a much tougher opposition in the next one week and apart from Aiden Markram, majority of the batsmen looked rusty.
Terrific bowling? Poor batting? Combination of both. Hard to find positives amidst the batting when you have lost 16 wickets in a day but the Zimbabwean side is clearly short of skill when it comes to playing Test cricket. No proper batsman stood up in either innings and that shows when your number 9 player in the batting order is the highest scorer in both innings combined. Thank you Zimbabwe for coming, as far as South Africa are concerned.
Half-time! Yaa... normally in soccer and hockey and a few other sports, when half the time allotted elapses, the players take a break, resulting in half time. Well, theoretically, this was supposed to be a 4-day Test with 392 overs scheduled. We did not have even 2 complete days and the number of overs bowled are 151.1. So not even half time but that is how short this Test match has been. Abject, abject, abject Zimbabwe.
Keshav Maharaj to Blessing Muzarabani
OUT! 4-day Test ends in 2 days! Third 5-wicket haul for Maharaj and it has been a great piece of bowling, however non-competitive the opposition might be. He bowls this a bit flatter as compared to the previous two deliveries and Muzarabani continues his wild swing. Misses once again but this time, the ball hits the off stump. VICTORY FOR SA BY AN INNINGS AND 120 RUNS!
Comes down the track, gets a rocket on the pads, only he and the creator of this world know how on earth did he manage to get bat on ball to defend. There was a clear case of stumping on offer, but the bat came in the way.
Nearly! Tossed up on middle and leg, Muzarabani has a wild swing, only to miss. The ball was probably an inch away from handing Maharaj a fifer as it just missed the off stump by that much.
Maharaj again... Can he get a fifer?
Vernon Philander to Graeme Cremer
Punched off the back foot by the batsman.
Defended off the back foot by the batsman.
Punches this off the back foot straight to cover.
Outside off, left alone.
On a good length outside off, Cremer defends this watchfully.
FOUR! Another boundary! A length ball outside off, Cremer leans and steers it behind point for a boundary!
And again! This is even slower, Blessing is beaten once more.
Tossed up slowly outside off, Muzarabani looks to have a hoick but is beaten by the lack of pace.