The West Indies were 59-2 in reply to South Africa’s 417-8 dec at tea on day three at St George’s Park.
Morné Morkel struck twice shortly before the interval to put the Proteas in a strong position to win this Test match. It may have taken nearly 17 overs to make the breakthrough, but there is little doubt that Morkel deserved reward for his persistence, and that the tourists are in trouble.
Earlier in the session, the Proteas powered to a total of 417 thanks to the clean hitting of Dale Steyn. Steyn and team-mate Vernon Philander scored 48 runs in the five overs after lunch, and when Steyn finally holed out, Hashim Amla signalled the declaration. This ensured that the Proteas enjoyed a crack at the West Indies top order before tea.
Devon Smith and Kraigg Brathwaite then proceeded to put on 55 for the first wicket. They looked comfortable when facing up to the likes of Steyn, whose bowling was less explosive than his batting. Philander also failed to trouble the opening pair, and at one stage it seemed likely that the West Indies would go to tea without loss.
Morkel was the most accurate and threatening of the South African bowlers during this period. He hit Smith on the helmet with a sharp delivery, and then had the West Indies opener caught at first slip shortly after.
Deon Johnson drove at the very next ball, but only succeeded in edging it to third slip. Suddenly the West Indies were two down, and South Africa had their tails up.
The Proteas will look to make further inroads into the West Indies batting lineup this evening. The tourists still have some way to go if they’re to avoid the follow-on.
SA 1st innings – 417-8 dec (Dean Elgar 121, Faf du Plessis 103, Shannon Gabriel 2-80)
West Indies 1st innings – 59-2 (Kraigg Brathwaite 34, Devon Smith 22, Morné Morkel 2-16)
West Indies trail by 358 runs