West Indies started the fourth morning of the second Test against South Africa full of hope that they could chase down their victory target of 324, but any chance of pulling off such an unlikely win disintegrated in the final 30 minutes before lunch.
A hat-trick by left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj (5-36) resigned the hosts to a 158-run loss shortly after lunch at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia, yesterday, as Kraigg Brathwaite’s men suffered an all-too-familiar batting collapse, dismissed for 165 in their second turn at the crease.
While Maharaj’s hat-trick in the final 15 minutes before lunch triggered the beginning of the end, the West Indies were in trouble from the start of play. Kagiso Rabada got the ball rolling for the Proteas, making the first breakthrough just 12 balls into the day’s play when he found the edge of Kraigg Brathwaite’s blade, with Dean Elgar holding on to the catch at first slip.
Rabada also accounted for Shai Hope a couple of overs later, the batsman getting into an awkward position as he played a rising ball that he fended off towards Aiden Markram at second slip.
The initial call from umpire Joel Wilson was not out, but the visitors made good use of the DRS (Decision Review System) and ultra-edge confirmed that the ball touched the batsman’s glove on the way to the slip cordon, the Windies’ recovery mission dealt another blow with the score on 26 for two.
Kyle Mayers was fortuitous as, off the very next ball, he could have been gone the lbw route but for a no-ball called. He used the chance to join with overnight batsman Kieran Powell in a 64-run stand for the third wicket. He soon departed however, when attempting a pull shot from outside off stump, but only succeeding in getting a top edge, caught Elgar off Rabada.
Mayers’ demise came about 30 minutes before the lunch interval, a precursor to the Windies’ batting implosion. Fifteen minutes after Mayers’ rash shot, Maharaj intervened to all but end the West Indies resistance with a hat-trick that accounted for Powell, Jason Holder and Joshua Da Silva.
Powell, who reached his half century with an edged four over the slips cordon, also went after an ill-advised shot as he swept Maharaj straight to Nortye at deep midwicket.
Holder then edged a defensive push straight to Keegan Petersen at short-leg before Da Silva edged one down the leg-side where Wiaan Mulder took a brilliant diving one-handed catch at leg-slip as the Windies slipped to 107 for six.
Suffering from a quadriceps injury, Roston Chase didn’t come out to bat, leaving Kemar Roach to join with Jermaine Blackwood to take the hosts to lunch at 109 for six. But the damage was already done and there was no way back for the home team.
Blackwood and Roach briefly mounted some resistance during the post lunch session, taking the score to 147 before Ngidi struck to remove Blackwood for 25. Maharaj then completed the carnage, removing both Roach and Jayden Seales to register his sixth five-wicket haul in Tests.
Scores: South Africa 298 (de Kock 96, Elgar 77 Mayers 3-28, Roach 3-45) and 174 (van der Dussen 75*, Roach 4-52) beat West Indies 149 (Blackwood 49, Mulder 3-1) and 165 (Powell 51, Maharaj 5-36, Rabada 3-44) by 158 runs