• Proteas batsmen chip away

    South Africa were 227-3 at the close of day two thanks to the measured performances of Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers, reports Jon Cardinelli at Newlands.

    The Proteas were not exactly struggling when Amla and De Villiers came together with the score at 157-3. And yet, more patience was certainly required after set batsmen of the quality of Alviro Petersen (42) and Faf du Plessis (68) conspired to throw away their respective wickets. 

    It was situation tailor-made for Amla and De Villiers. The pair proceeded to live up to their reputations, putting on 70 runs for the fourth wicket and steering the hosts to the close without any further loss. Rain stopped play shortly before 17:30, and the umpires subsequently called an end to the day’s action.

    The pair will look to surpass the visitors’ score of 329 early on day three. Should they achieve that objective, they will push on to amass a total that will place South Africa in a position to win the game and clinch the series. If the Proteas post a formidable first innings total, they may not need to bat more than once.

    One man who will want the Proteas to bat again is Petersen. The South African opener came into this game a man under pressure. Before his most recent knock at Newlands, he had not scored a 50 in nine innings, or a century in 25.

    In the period before lunch, Petersen took the fight to the West Indies attack. He was more circumspect after the break, but looked to be on course for a well deserved 50.

    That was, however, until Du Plessis pushed the ball behind square, and Petersen called for a run. Jermaine Blackwood reacted quickly in the field, and hit the stumps with Petersen short of his ground. It was a costly mistake on Petersen’s part, and one that could mean the end of his Test career.

    While the track has been good for batting throughout the contest, the overcast conditions this morning provided some assistance for the bowlers. The tourists resumed their first innings at 276-6, and proceeded to surpass 300 in quick time. That cavalier attitude would ensure that the innings ended sooner rather than later.

    Dale Steyn added to his overnight tally with two quick wickets, while Morné Morkel finally got some reward with two scalps of his own. Ultimately, it took South Africa just 49 minutes and 9.5 overs to claim the West Indies’ last four wickets.

    West Indies 1st innings – 329 (Jermaine Blackwood 56, Leon Johnson 54, Dale Steyn 4-78, Simon Harmer 3-71)
    South Africa 1st innings – 227-3 (Faf du Plessis 68, Hashim Amla 55 not out, Jason Holder 1-46)
    South Africa trail by 102 runs

    Click here for scorecard

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