Wed | Aug 4, 2021

Windies batters implode as South Africa take charge in the second Test

Published:Sunday | June 20, 2021 | 12:12 AMLennox Aldred/Sunday Gleaner Writer

The West Indies' circumspect batting was once again exposed by some excellent bowling from South Africa, as the visitors seized the initiative after day two action of the second Test in St. Lucia.

When play ended, the West Indies were dismissed for 149, this after they had dismissed South Africa for 298.

The hosts, who trail by 149 runs, will have their work cut out on the third day, as South Africa will look to pile on the runs and bat the West Indies out of the contest.

It was an enthralling day of cricket, which saw 15 wickets fell after South Africa had resumed the day on 218 for five.

It was yet another disciplined bowling effort from the regional side, who picked up wickets at regular intervals to set back the Proteas from getting a big total.

Kemar Roach had overnight batsman Wiann Mulder caught behind for eight, then Jason Holder also had Keshav Maharaj caught behind for 12 at 275 for seven.

Quinton De Kock, who came into the day on 69, continued to accumulate runs and got to 96 before he slashed at one from Kyle Mayers outside off stump and was caught by Shai Hope.

Mayers then picked up a third wicket when he had Anrich Nortje brilliantly caught by Jayden Seales at mid-wicket for one at 281 for nine.

Kagiso Rabada came in and played some enterprising shots mixed with some streaky boundaries to get to 21 and push the Proteas' score close to the 300 mark.

But with the score on 298, Lungi Ngidi provided substitute Darren Bravo with a catch off Roach to wrap up the visitors' innings.

Mayers finished with three wickets for 28 runs, while Roach bagged three for 45 with Shannon Gabriel ending with two for 65.

With all the pre-match hype touting a better batting performance, the West Indies took the crease hoping to set things right and show their batting acumen.

That plan went straight out the door on the very first ball of the innings, as captain Kraigg Brathwaite gloved a leg-side Rabada delivery to the keeper, which was confirmed by a brilliant review from Proteas skipper Dean Elgar.

With no runs on the board, Kieran Powell looked intent on stepping up the tempo following a crunching back foot cut for four. However, when he got to five, Nigidi would have his revenge, as he was adjudged lbw on review, to leave the hosts in a spot of bother at eight for two.

Roston Chase also came in and punched one down the ground and looked purposeful, but he only lasted 10 balls, as he was caught at bat-pad off Nortje to leave the West Indies in tatters at 30 for three.

A 24-run partnership would then follow between Shai Hope and Mayers, but the latter was soon sent back in the pavilion by Maharaj, who had the left-hander caught at slip for 12.

The best partnership of the West Indies innings would then ensue, as Hope and Blackwood put on 43 runs for the fifth wicket, before Hope on 43, chopped one back unto his stumps from Ngidi, at 97 for five.

When Rabada had Jason Holder caught in the gully for 10 at 116 for six, there and then, another paltry score looked on the cards for the West Indies.

Mulder then decided he wanted a piece of the action and the medium-pacer snared three quick wickets to further dampen the spirits of the home side.

Blackwood who clawed his way to 49, was looking to shield the last man Shannon Gabriel, however, his attempt to hit over the top, saw him being the last man out, with the innings folding for 149 in two sessions of batting.