The Proteas crushed the West Indies by eight wickets in the third Test to clinch the series 2-0, reports Jon Cardinelli at Newlands.
South Africa’s march to victory on day five may have been slow and steady, but the end result remains emphatic. Despite the heavy rain that killed off the contest at St George’s Park, and the soaked field that impacted on day four at Newlands, the Proteas have gone on to win this series by a convincing 2-0 margin.
Dean Elgar did the bulk of the damage for the hosts on the final day, finishing on an unbeaten 60. The West Indies’ bowlers tried their best to limit and frustrate the hosts, but ultimately the modest target of 124 was reached after 37 overs.
The victory secured the Proteas’ No 1 Test ranking to the cut-off point in April as Test cricket takes a break while the ICC World Cup takes place in Australasia. That little stat earns them a bonus of $US 500 000, or nearly R6 million at today’s rate.
While Elgar and captain Hashim Amla guided the Proteas home, several others should be credited for setting South Africa up for the big victory at Newlands. Dale Steyn, debutant Simon Harmer, and Morné Morkel all bowled brilliantly late on day four to wrap up the tourists’ second innings.
The batting performance by AB de Villiers (148 off 194 balls) in South Africa’s first innings was just as game-shaping. De Villiers was subsequently named Man of the Match.
The West Indies have played some good cricket at times in this series, but have too often followed up a solid period of play with a poor one. This was the case late on day four, as after playing so well, they collapsed to lose their last seven wickets for 33 runs. Steyn and Harmer finished with identical match figures of 7-153.
The second-innings performance by Steyn and Harmer ensured that the Proteas needed just 124 runs to win. The hosts lost beleaguered opening batsman Alviro Petersen for 0 at the end of day four, but were more convincing in their march to victory on day five.
Amla was named Man of the Series for his contributions with the bat. The South African skipper scored a majestic 208 in the first Test at Centurion. Over the course of the three games, he amassed 342 runs at an average of 114.
DAY FIVE SCORECARD
West Indies 1st innings – 329 (Jermaine Blackwood 56, Leon Johnson 54, Dale Steyn 4-78, Simon Harmer 3-71)
South Africa 1st innings – 421 (AB de Villiers 148, Faf du Plessis 68, , Marlon Samuels 2-68, Jason Holder 2-87)
West Indies 2nd innings – 215 (Marlon Samuels 74, Shivnarine Chanderpaul 50, Simon Harmer 4-82, Dale Steyn 3-75)
South Africa 2nd innings – 124-2 (Dean Elgar 60 not out, Hashim Amla 38 not out, Sulieman Benn 2-24)
South Africa won by eight wickets