Johannesburg - Quinton de Kock called time on his Test career on Thursday night, which came as a surprise to many. The Proteas wicketkeeper was set to miss the rest of the series as he and his wife Sasha await the arrival of their first child.
Stuart Hess looks at his five best performances in the test arena.
2nd Test vs Australia, Hobart, November 2016
104 and seven catches
South Africa took control of this match by bowling Australia out for 85. At 132/5, when De Kock walked to the crease, the Proteas risked losing the advantage the bowlers had earned. However, striking 17 fours in an innings in which he faced just 143 balls, while sharing a partnership of 144 with Bavuma, De Kock helped to push the match decisively in South Africa’s favour. There were some stunning catches as well on a seaming deck with the Superman act to get rid of Lyon to end Australia’s first innings the highlight.
2nd Test vs New Zealand, Centurion, August 2016
82, 50 and six catches
Elgar was out injured and De Kock volunteered to open the innings alongside Stephen Cook on a tricky winter pitch against the prodigious Boult/Southee new ball duo. He faced 114 balls in the first innings hitting 15 fours and in the second took 43 balls to make 50. They were instinctive innings and came at the start of what would ultimately turn out to be the peak of his Test career.
2nd Test, vs New Zealand, Wellington, March 2017
91 and 5 catches and 2 stumpings
Another rescue act with the bat in combination with Bavuma, saw the two take the Proteas from a precarious position of 79/5 after New Zealand made 268, into a 73-run lead. De Kock's innings was a typically flamboyant effort featuring 10 fours and three sixes and with the gloves he was superb in supporting South Africa’s two spinners, Maharaj and Duminy, who took 12 wickets between them in the match.
1st Test vs West Indies, St Lucia, June 2021
141* and 2 catches
His last great performance as a Test player. De Kock appeared to be batting on a different surface to anyone else in that match. The bowlers had given South Africa a great advantage by bowling out the home team for 97 in their first innings. De Kock’s joie de vivre saw 12 fours and seven sixes, and he dominated a 79-run ninth wicket partnership with Anrich Nortje.
3rd Test vs Pakistan, Johannesburg, January 2019
18 and 129, 7 catches
He came to the crease at 93/5 in the second innings, and while South Africa were well in front, they were not in a secure position. De Kock’s hundred made sure that there was no comeback for the Pakistanis. Typically the runs came quickly, as he played at a strike rate of 93.47, hitting 18 fours and a six.