De Villiers matched England wicketkeeper Jack Russell’s mark of 11 dismissals in a Test — set against the Proteas in 1995 — after profiting from Steyn’s excellence as Pakistan fell well short of their victory target of 480.
Resuming day four on 183 for four, the tourists were bundled out for 268 in Johannesburg as South Africa won the series opener by 211 runs.
Pakistan’s first-innings knock of 49 meant even a draw was going to be a tall order and, with Steyn at his brilliant best, they were blown away.
A fifth-wicket partnership between Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq had halted South Africa’s victory charge yesterday but once Steyn struck this morning a home win was just a matter of time.
The 29-year-old accounted for Asad, who made 56, with a ball which nipped away off the seam with Jacques Kallis claiming a routine catch in the slips.
Asad and Misbah put on 127 but the latter was also back in the pavilion two overs later, Steyn and De Villiers combining as Pakistan were reduced to 210 for six.
Vernon Philander got in on the act to claim the wicket of Sarfraz Ahmed with De Villiers then taking catches off Morne Morkel and Steyn to dismiss Saeed Ajmal and Umar Gul, respectively.
AB equals record
Gul’s departure saw De Villiers draw level with Russell and he also became the first Test keeper to score a century and take 10 or more dismissals in a match.
Fittingly it was Steyn who had the final say, trapping Junaid Khan in front as Pakistan were put out of their misery.
He finished with five for 52 in the second innings with his 10-for the cheapest ever by a South African bowler.
Steyn said with a smile: “I bowled quite nicely.
“I’ve not been able to pick up wickets at the top in recent times but I’m glad I did it here.
“We wanted to try and get these wickets as quickly as possible today, the guys pushed hard, there wasn’t a lot of chances, we were pumped to try and finish off the game.”
On his career-best figures, he added: “Things just kind of clicked, the ball came out nicely. There’s not much thinking going on, your natural instinct takes over. I just got the ball in my hand and ran in and bowled.”
Proteas captain Graeme Smith was delighted to mark his 100th Test in charge with a win. “You always get a bit nervous in a milestone game, people could say that you are not totally focused,” he said.
“We knew we wanted to bat first, we were looking at 250-odd, but we left ourselves down a little bit. But we knew the cracks would come into effect. We are blessed to have Steyn. He is the number one bowler in the world and was helped by Morkel and Philander.