South Africa outclassed Sri Lanka in the Test series    Getty Images
South Africa outclassed Sri Lanka in the Test series Getty Images

South Africa thumped Sri Lanka by an innings and 118 runs in the third and final Test at Johannesburg to complete a 3-0 whitewash. Wayne Parnell took a four-for in the second innings to bundle out Sri Lanka for 177 in the second innings. Parnell was well supported by debutant Duanne Olivier, who took 3 wickets. Meanwhile, Sri Lankan opener Dimuth Karunaratne played a resilient knock of 50 to bring up his 11th Test fifty. It was only Karunaratne who looked comfortable playing against South Africa’s quality pace attack, while other Sri Lankan batsmen struggled. The visitors were all but outplayed in all the three games to undergo a humiliating whitewash.

Initially, South Africa opted to bat and registered 426, courtesy Hashim Amla s 134 and JP Duminy s 155. While Duminy was awarded Man of the Match for his stunning performance, Amla achieved a rare feat: he became the second South African (after Graeme Smith) and eighth overall to score a hundred in his hundred Test. For Sri Lanka, Nuwan Pradeep and Lahiru Kumara took 4 wickets each, while their skipper Angelo Mathews took 2. So let s take a look at how the Proteas squad performed throughout the final Test:

Dean Elgar (9/10): Dean Elgar was awarded the Man of the Series award as he stood out as the highest run-getter in the three-Test series. He amassed 308 runs at an outstanding average of 61.60. He batted in 5 innings and his scores read 45 and 52 in Port Elizabeth, 129 and 55 in Cape Town and 27 in Johannesburg. He threw away his wicket in the final Test but otherwise looked in sublime form throughout. With 1 century and 2 fifties against his name he justified his opening spot in the entire series and was rightly was awarded the Man of the Series.

Stephen Cook (6/10): Stephen Cook kicked off the series with 117 in the second innings of the first Test. He had also hit 59 in the first innings of the same match. But since then, he looked like having lost his touch. He managed to score 216 runs throughout the series, but sadly out of those 216, he scored 176 in the first game which means from the next three innings he could only manage 40 runs. His run-making ability came down spiralling. Cook scored a century and a fifty in the first game, a 4-ball duck in the second and a lowly 10 in the final game averaging 43.20 in the series.

Hashim Amla (7/10): Hashim Amla averaged just over 24 in this series before the final Test. But like the saying goes, Cometh the hour, cometh the man, he struck a master-class 134 in the third Test, which was also his 100th Test to regain his lost form. With this innings, Alma also laid the foundation of the mammoth score South Africa went onto put eventually. This innings also helped Amla take his average up to 46.20 by the conclusion of the series. He looked awkward initially on his way to 134, but once he got going, there seemed no stopping to him.

JP Duminy (8/10): Duminy looked solid throughout the series. His innings of 155 in Johannesburg was the cherry on the cake and a perfect way to end the series. He averaged 54.60 in the entire series having scored 273 runs. He was in sublime touch. In all his innings, there were free-flowing drives, calculated late-cuts and apt use of feet against the likes of Rangana Herath. Duminy s 155 came at a strike-rate of over 70, which displays his classy touch and moreover, he is the perfect batsman to display the technique of counterattacking. Also one cannot forget the catch of Upul Tharanga he took running backwards to end the last Test.

Faf du Plessis (7/10): Du Plessis continued to have a successful time as a captain and batsman. His scores read 37, 67*, 38, 41, 16 averaging 49.75. As a captain, he meant business and looked spot on with whatever changes he made, be it with batting, bowling or field placement. He never let the opposition dominate any session of all the three games with constant bowling changes.

Temba Bavuma (3/10): Bavuma had a forgettable series as a batsman. He had the chances to score big in all games but his struggle against the Sri Lankan spinners was disclosed. He came out to bat 5 times and his total runs tally is just 21 runs with the highest score of 10. His flaws were overshadowed by the South African wins, though.

Quinton de Kock (8/10): De Kock is one of those players who are in the mould of Adam Gilchrist. He comes out to bat at No. 7 or No. 8 and takes the game away from the opposition in no time. He scored 270 runs in the series at 54 and a strike-rate of 76.48. Apart from his batting, he looked assured with skills as a wicketkeeper. De Kock, with successful series in Australia and now against Sri Lanka, has established himself as the best wicketkeeper-batsman in every format for South Africa.

Vernon Philander (8/10): He was exceptional with the ball in all the games. He bowled with accuracy, swung the ball both ways with accurate bounce. By the end of the series, Philander finished as the second best wicket-taker with 17 wickets at 14.58. Whenever his skipper entrusted him the responsibility of taking wickets or breaking the partnership, Philander obliged and shared the ball exceptionally well with Kagiso Rabada.

Kagiso Rabada has emerged as perfect replacement for Dale Steyn    Getty Images
Kagiso Rabada has emerged as perfect replacement for Dale Steyn Getty Images

Kagiso Rabada (9/10): He is the best bowler that South Africa have at present. There were questions about who would fill in Dale Steyn s shoes after his injury, but then Rabada emerged and took over the responsibility of sharing the new ball and tormenting the opposition batsmen. He is the leading wicket-taker in the series with 19 and he played a pivotal role in the Cape Town Test s second innings; he took 6 wickets conceding just 55 runs to bundle out Sri Lanka. Rabada tormented the Sri Lankan batsmen with his fast bouncers every now and then.

Kyle Abbott (6/10): Kyle Abbott played the first two games and then signed the Kolpak contract with County side Hampshire. But he was the enforcer who spearheaded South Africa s Test humiliation of Australia in this summer. Having played the first 2 games, and his all 5 wickets came in the first Test. He went wicketless in the second Test which turned out to be his last for his country.

Keshav Maharaj (7/10): Keshav Maharaj has been the surprise element in the South African squad. He played 2 games and took 7 wickets along with scoring 52 runs. He isn t a great turner of the ball but has the ability to bowl quicker ones. He can concede runs sometimes but despite this, he also knows how to get wickets completely against the run of play. He was rested for the third Test after winning the series and Olivier came in.

Wayne Parnell (7/10): Parnell was selected for the third Test after Abbott s exit. He was instrumental in scuttling Sri Lanka in the second innings finishing with 4 wickets and 2 in the first. Parnell knows how to use the home conditions to the best of his ability and troubled the Sri Lankan batsmen will short deliveries at regular intervals. He also varied his line between bowling short as well as pitching it up.

Duanne Olivierhas definitely cemented his place in the Proteas squad    Getty Images
Duanne Olivier has definitely cemented his place in the Proteas squad Getty Images

Duanne Olivier (7/10): Olivier came instead of Maharaj. With his inclusion, the South African squad got one more pacer in their XI and he looked good in the middle overs. Olivier managed a total of 5 wickets in his debut game and he too opted for peppering the batsmen with short deliveries which enabled him to get 3 wickets in the second innings. He wasn t the same with the bat and scored just 3 runs having come to bat at No. 5.