‘Beaten all ends up!’ South Africa inflict 284-run thrashing on West Indies
SUMMARY: South Africa 320 all out (Aiden Markram 96, Tony de Zorzi 85, Dean Elgar 42; Kyle Mayers 3-32, Alzarri Joseph 3-60, Gudakesh Motie 3-75) and 321 all out (Temba Bavuma 172, Wiaan Mulder 42; Kyle Mayers 3-46, Jason Holder 3-48) vs West Indies 251 (Jason Holder 81*, Kyle Mayers 29, Roston Chase 28, Joshua Da Silva 26; Gerald Coetzee 3-41, Kagiso Rabada 2-19, Simon Harmer 2-63) and 106 all out (Joshua Da Silva 34; Gerald Coetzee 3-37, Simon Harmer 3-45, Keshav Maharaj 2-4, Kagiso Rabada 2-19)
South Africa completed their home summer and World Test Championship (WTC) cycle with a massive win over West Indies that saw them move to third on the points table. Whether they will remain there will depend on the outcome of the Sri Lanka- New Zealand series. For now, it’s four spots higher than where they finished in their first WTC.
Asked to chase a record target of 391 at Wanderers, West Indies were blown away by the lunch break. They were 34-6 inside 19 overs and were eventually dismissed for 106.
Kagiso Rabada, who recovered from a third-day back spasm to lead the attack, made the early inroads before South Africa’s two specialist spinners, Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj, took advantage of the turn on offer to share five wickets between them. Gerald Coetzee mopped up the lower order with three wickets post-lunch.
Rabada bowled an extended new-ball spell of seven overs and did the early damage. He removed West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite for the fourth time in four innings in the series – this time lbw with a ball that straightened and beat the outside edge – and strangled Raymon Reifer down the leg side.
Wiaan Mulder was not available to share the new ball, as he did in the first innings, because he was sent for a scan on his right index finger after being hit while batting on the third day. The scan revealed no fracture and Mulder was cleared to play but did not bowl.
Instead, Simon Harmer opened the bowling from the Golf Course End and found significant turn from his first ball. Harmer looked threatening throughout and eventually found Tagenarine Chanderpaul’s outside edge which deflected off Heinrich Klaasen’s gloves to give Dean Elgar the catch at second slip.
Harmer thought he had another off the next ball when Roston Chase was given out caught behind but reviewed immediately and replays showed the ball had missed the inside edge and flicked the top of his front pad on its way through. At the other end, Maharaj took over from Rabada and bowled Chase with his fifth ball.
Jermaine Blackwood pulled out a full-blooded swipe against a shorter delivery from Harmer and sent it straight to Temba Bavuma at midwicket and West Indies’ troubles deepened when, on the stroke of lunch, Maharaj asked for a review after he beat Kyle Mayers’ forward defence and hit him on the pad.
It proved to be successful but, when taking off to celebrate, Maharaj went down with what looked like an Achilles’ injury. He was stretchered off the field at the interval.
With two bowlers unavailable, South Africa’s attack had to work a little harder in the afternoon session. Joshua Da Silva and Jason Holder put on 48 runs for the seventh wicket against a hostile spell of fast bowling from Coetzee. He was consistently in the mid-140kph and used the short ball liberally.
One of them hit Holder in the box and he required some on-field treatment before continuing. In Coetzee’s next over, he dished up a wide delivery, Holder went for the drive and played on.
Da Silva was bowled four overs later and it was only a matter of time before the result was secured. Kemar Roach sliced Coetzee to Keegan Petersen at point and Alzarri Joseph was stumped as West Indies were dismissed 10 minutes after the afternoon drinks break.
Earlier, South Africa’s last three wickets fell for 34 runs in 36 minutes and 46 balls. Bavuma added only a single to his overnight score of 171 before he holed out to deep square leg in the second over of the morning. Bavuma departed to applause from a small but growing Saturday crowd. Maharaj went in similar fashion but not before starting the day with a cracking cover drive off Mayers.
Rabada then made the most of his licence to thrill. He middled just about every ball he faced and sent a Mayers legcutter and Holder short, slower ball over midwicket and long-on for sixes in successive overs. Holder cranked up the pace three balls later, cramped Rabada for room, and he top-edged a pull to give Holder his third wicket.
Despite West Indies’ efficiency in the field on the fourth morning, they still faced a huge ask. The highest successful chase at the ground is 310, reached by Australia in 2011, while the most runs ever scored in a fourth innings at the venue is 450, which South Africa put in a draw against India in 2013. In the end, West Indies did not even come close. (ESPNcricinfo)