Bad day for West Indies
A blazing half-century from Dale Steyn and twin strikes from Morne Morkel with minutes to go for tea put South Africa firmly in control of the second Test, wrenching away whatever initiative West Indies had gained on an otherwise promising third day.
At tea, West Indies trailed by 358 runs with eight wickets in hand.
Rain allowed only six overs on day two and a wet outfield further delayed the start of day three, but the Test match moved quickly once play resumed, with West Indies scything through South Africa’s middle order before Steyn hastened the declaration with a 28-ball 58.
Starting with Faf du Plessis’ dismissal on the second morning, South Africa lost five wickets for 74 runs, in rain-freshened conditions that the seamers exploited with some probing bowling.
Steyn launched a breathtaking counterattack thereafter, and South Africa declared after tonking 48 runs in five overs after lunch.
West Indies began solidly in reply, moving past 50 without loss before Morkel arrived to ruin the taste of their tea.
Coming on as first change, Morkel hit Devon Smith on the side of the helmet with a bouncer in his second over, but otherwise stuck to a fullish length, angling the ball into the left-hander from around the wicket and getting a couple to seam away.
Smith, front foot striding hesitantly to the ball, poked at one of them and edged a catch to first slip.
Morkel then suckered Leon Johnson, another left-hander, into driving away from his body at an even fuller ball and du Plessis at third slip took an excellent low catch.
Those two balls from Morkel mirrored the impact Steyn had made at the start of the second session.
Clearing his front leg against Jerome Taylor and stepping confidently down the track to Sulieman Benn, he freed his arms and struck the ball with ferocious power. He swatted Taylor for two big sixes either side of a clanging drive down the ground for four, before taking a painful blow on the left forearm at the non-striker’s end when Vernon Philander attempted to partake of the fun with a meaty straight hit.
That didn’t hamper Steyn in any way, though, as he carved Benn for a four and two big sixes in the arc between extra cover and long-off, before holing out attempting another big hit. Hashim Amla declared as soon as Jason Holder wrapped his hands around the ball at long-on.
Till that blitz, it had been West Indies’ morning. There are few more daunting sights for a bowling side at 289 for 3 than Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers walking out to bat, but the seamers found help from the atmosphere and the pitch to dismiss both in the space of seven balls. (cricinfo)