Brathwaite, Samuels lead Windies revival
PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (CMC):
Kraigg Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels stroked enterprising unbeaten half-centuries to rescue West Indies and lift them to a comfortable position on the third day of the second Test against South Africa yesterday.
Floundering at 55 for two after losing quick wickets just before tea, West Indies were revived by Brathwaite's top score of 65 and Samuels's 60, to reach 147 for two when bad light ended play at 5:45 p.m. at St George's Park.
The pair have so far added 92 for the third wicket, a partnership that proved critical after opener Devon Smith (22) and Leon Johnson fell in successive deliveries to seamer Morne Morkel, in the third over before the tea interval.
However, Brathwaite remained steady, carving out his seventh Test half-century in his 16th match, facing 125 balls and striking eight boundaries.
nine fours in an innings
Samuels, meanwhile, took the attack to the South African bowlers, hitting nine fours in an innings that required just 92 deliveries.
Their combined efforts left West Indies 270 runs behind on first innings, after South Africa declared on 417 for eight about half-hour after lunch, following a cameo half-century from Dale Steyn that hurt West Indies' momentum.
Resuming at 289 for three, South Africa lost four wickets in the morning session to be 369 for seven at lunch, as West Indies struck telling blows to limit the hosts.
first over of the day
Captain Hashim Amla, starting the day on 23, looked ominous when he hammered two boundaries on either side of the wicket in the first over of the day from pacer Jerome Taylor.
However, he departed in the fourth over, lbw to fast bowler Jason Holder to one that nipped back and caught him in front.
A.B. de Villiers followed in the next over from Taylor, adding just one to his overnight nine before losing his offstump to one that seamed away as the batsman looked to play to leg.
Debutant Temba Bavuma (10) and Stiaan van Zyl (29) fell cheaply to catches at the wicket to leave South Africa stumbling at 348 for seven before Steyn arrived to change the course of the innings.
He smashed a 28-ball 58, which included six fours and five sixes, in a 69-run, eighth wicket stand with Vernon Philander, who was unbeaten on 13 at the end.
Seamers Kenroy Peters (2-69), Shannon Gabriel (2-80) and Taylor (2-114) all picked up two wickets apiece.
Brathwaite and Smith then handed West Indies a steady start, posting 55 for the first wicket, as they easily negotiated the new ball burst from Steyn and Philander.
The left-handed Smith had faced 46 balls and struck five fours in 1-1/4 at the crease, when he edged Morkel to second slip where Amla held the chance on the second attempt.
Off the very next ball, Leon Johnson sparred unnecessarily at a full length delivery, steering a simple catch to Faf du Plessis at third slip.
Crawling to tea on 59 for two with Brathwaite on 37 and Samuels yet to score, West Indies defied the odds to flourish after the break and dominate the final session.
West Indies nearly squandered their advantage, however, when Brathwaite drove a return catch to Tahir on 64, but the bowler failed to hold on to a difficult chance.
SOUTH AFRICA 1st innings
(overnight 289 for three)
D Elgar c wkp Ramdin b Peters 121
A Petersen c Johnson b Gabriel 17
F du Plessis c wkp Ramdin b Taylor 103
*H Amla lbw b Holder 33
+AB de Villiers b Taylor 10
T Bazuma c wkp Ramdin b Gabrie l 10
S van Zyl c wkp Ramdin b Peters 29
V Philander not out 13
D Steyn c Holder b Benn 58
Extras (b4, lb5, w6, nb8) 23
TOTAL (8 wkts decl., 122 overs) 417
Did not bat: M Morkel, Imran Tahir.
Fall of wickets: 1-47, 2-226, 3-274, 4-300, 5-304, 6-325, 7-328, 8-417.
Bowling: Taylor 30-7-114-2 (w2, nb2), Peters 20-7-69-2, Holder 22-7-43-1 (nb1), Gabriel 21-0-80-2 (nb4), Benn 28-4-102-0 (nb1), Samuels 1-1-0-0.
WEST INDIES 1st innings
K Brathwaite not out 65
D Smith c Amla b Morkel 22
L Johnson c du Plessis b Morke l 0
M Samuels not out 60
TOTAL (2 wkts; 44 overs) 147
To bat: S Chanderpaul, *+D Ramdin, J Holder, J Taylor, S Benn, S Gabriel, K Peters.
Fall of wickets: 1-55, 2-55.
Bowling: Steyn 9-2-36-0, Philander 11-2-30-0, Morkel 8-1-24-2, Imran Tahir 15-1-52-0, Elgar 1-0-5-0.
Position: West Indies trail by 270 runs with seven wickets intact.
Toss: West Indies.
Umpires: B Bowden, P Reiffel; TV - Aleem Dar.