The best Test bowling figures for the Proteas in Pakistan


In seven Test matches in Pakistan, Proteas bowlers have managed to claim five-wicket hauls on five occasions and here we look at the best Test bowling figures for the Proteas in Pakistan.

The best Test bowling figures for the Proteas in Pakistan

Three of the five were surprisingly claimed by fast bowlers and only one man managed to claim five or more twice.

South Africa have only lost one Test in Pakistan, whose conditions tend to offer a little more for the quicks than other Asian nations.

5 Paul Harris – 5 for 73 in Karachi, October 2007

Paul Harris might serve as inspiration for Keshav Maharaj on the upcoming tour of Pakistan with his best performance being his 5 for 73 in the first innings of the first Test of the 2007 tour.

Harris helped Mark Boucher establish a new record for dismissals with his fifth wicket of the innings as the current Team Director sharply stumped Umar Gul.

He didn’t turn the ball miles but bowled consistently in the right areas and built pressure on their hosts. Harris was the third South African to claim a five-wicket haul in Pakistan.

4 Dale Steyn – 5 for 56 in Karachi, October 2007

The best Test bowling figures for the Proteas in Pakistan
The best Test bowling figures for the Proteas in Pakistan: Dale Steyn celebrate the wicket of Salman Butt during day four of the first test match series between Pakistan and South Africa held at the National Stadium on September 4, 2007 in Karachi, Pakistan. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Dale Steyn wrapped up Pakistan’s first innings after Harris had done the hard graft and the quick found a lethal rythym in the second dig.

Steyn showed that South African quicks could utilise reverse swing just as well as the Pakistan legends who originated the techniques needed to extract the late movement through the air.

He took out the Pakistan openers and ended Younis Khan’s stubborn resistance to help clinch a famous victory for the Proteas. 

3 Shaun Pollock – 5 for 37 in Faisalabad, October 1997

Shaun Pollock claimed the first-ever five-fer by a Proteas player in Pakistan on the landmark 1997 tour.

Pollock did not get the ball to reverse but his unerring accuracy proved tough for Pakistan to deal with as he claimed what remains the fastest five-wicket haul by a South African in the country.

With Pakistan needing just 146 to win the third Test in Faisalabad, Pollock ripped through the top order supported by Allan Donald and Lance Klusener, before Pat Symcox wrapped up the tail to clinch a famous victory that ensured the Proteas claimed the series.

2 Shaun Pollock – 6 for 78 in Faisalabad, October 2003

Six years after his first five-wicket haul Pollock claimed his second at the same venue but it wasn’t enough to secure victory for South Africa.

With the spinners leaking runs, Pollock and the other quicks got through a lot of work to ensure that the hosts only enjoyed a 70-run first innings lead.

Pollock had just lost the captaincy of the team but proved he still had plenty to contribute to the team with his performance.

1 Paul Adams – 7 for 128 in Lahore, October 2003

The best bowling figures for the Proteas in Pakistan
The best Test bowling figures for the Proteas in Pakistan: South African bowler Paul Adams bowls a ball on the third day of the first Test against Pakistan at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, 19 October 2003. Adams took a career-best 7-128 as Pakistan made 401 runs in their 1st innings in response to the tourists first innings score of 320. AFP PHOTO Arif ALI

Perhaps the most prodigious turner of the ball to ever play for South Africa, Paul Adams was best known for his unorthodox action. He toiled hard for his five-fer bowling 45 overs as Pakistan made 401.

The Test is, to date, the only time South Africa lost a Test in Pakistan but Adams put in one of his most controlled displays ever.

Adams broke Pakistan’s opening stand and provided the most consistent threat to the hosts batsmen. His 7 for 128 would be his career-best effort.

Read: Highest Test scores by a South African batsman in Pakistan Protection Status


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