The first time it happened was against the Aussies – I think we all thought it was a once off; A slip on the part of Australia, just one of those inexplicable cricket experiences.
The second time was against New Zealand – common opinion was that the Black caps were substandard, unprepared and an embarrassment as a test unit.
The third instance was against Pakistan – a stupendous performance by the world’s premier fast bowler, Dale Steyn, who led the devastation with 6 wickets for 8 runs!
What I am referring to, of course, are teams that the Proteas have bowled out for under 50 in the last 18 months. Let me dazzle you with some more stats!
Since test cricket began, it has only happened on twenty occasions. Wait! That’s not all! Since groundsmen started covering pitches, only six instances were recorded of sub-fifty team scores. The Proteas hold three of these!
Call it luck, coincidence, bad teams, poor wickets or whatever. The fact remains that the Proteas did what the great Australian attack (McGrath, Warne and Lee) failed to do. They did what the great West Indies attack (Holding, Marshall, Joel Garner & co) could not do and even the great Pakistan partnership of Akram, Younis and Mushtaq Ahmed failed to achieve.
What I am getting at, is that the Proteas attack achieved something spectacular and confirmed that they are not only the best attack in world cricket currently, but also shaping up to become one of the best in the modern era.
Bowlers do it in partnerships, like wolves hunt in packs. The unrelenting pressure by Steyn, Philander, Morkel and Kallis left the Pakistan side in tatters. All we can do is to appreciate the brilliance and say: