Jon Cardinelli reflects on the big moments that shaped day two of the Test at Centurion.
BATSMAN OF THE DAY
Hashim Amla’s patience and determination was eventually rewarded with a double ton. AB de Villiers provided the firepower on day one while Stiaan van Zyl obliged on day two. And yet, Amla’s measured innings was more important in the team context.
BOWLER OF THE DAY
For the second consecutive day, the West Indies failed to produce a consistent bowling performance. Sulieman Benn took two wickets, and may have had two more had the West Indies held all their catches.
SHOT OF THE DAY
It was the first of many boundaries on day two, but it was unforgettable. Jerome Taylor pitched the ball a fraction full, and Hashim Amla caressed it through the covers for four.
DELIVERY OF THE DAY
Sulieman Benn did well to stem the flow of runs in the first hour of play. The ball that removed AB de Villiers was a teaser, forcing the batsman to come forward and reach for the shot. De Villiers only succeeded in slicing the delivery to backward point.
CALL OF THE DAY
Hashim Amla declared soon after the target of 550 was surpassed. The West Indies now need 353 to avoid the follow on, which will in itself be a challenge. The timing of the declaration was spot on, as South Africa still have three days to bowl the tourists out twice.
RACING THE WEATHER
Rain delayed the start of this Test, and most recently the start of the West Indies’ first innings. The islanders should pray for more rain over the next three days. They will need a miracle to draw this fixture.
FAIL OF THE DAY
Denesh Ramdin and Sulieman Benn got it right when Stiaan van Zyl first arrived at the crease. Ramdin instructed the fielders to crowd the debutant, and cleverly placed a man at leg slip. Benn obliged with a straight delivery which Van Zyl then hit directly to leg slip. Unfortunately, Kraigg Brathwaithe failed to hang on. The mistake cost West Indies 99 runs, as Van Zyl proceeded to turn a score of 2 into 101.
MILESTONE OF THE DAY
With Hashim Amla at the crease for much of day two, the South African batting records continued to tumble. Amla’s 208 is the highest score by a Proteas captain on South African soil.
STAT OF CONCERN
The West Indies missed three clear chances in the field. Apart from Brathwaite’s drop, a chance was spurned at midwicket by Leon Johnson, and another soon after by Sulieman Benn off his own bowling. With such a limited bowling attack, the West Indies need to hold their chances.
The injured Kemar Roach was unable to bowl on day two, and it is hoped that he will be fit to contribute in South Africa’s second innings. Unfortunately for the West Indies, it doesn’t look like Roach will get another chance at Centurion. South Africa are unlikely to bat again after posting a mammoth 552-5 in their first innings.