CARL LEWIS takes a nostalgic look back at the Proteas’ last tour to West Indies when a Graeme Smith-led side won a three-match series 2-0.
It’s been over a decade since the Proteas last toured and played Test cricket in the Caribbean. On 10 June, South Africa and West Indies finally meet again in St Lucia for their two-match Test series.
The Proteas have been very successful when touring the islands and ahead of this latest series, we take a look back at past tours.
1st Test, Port of Spain – SA won by 163 runs
South Africa 352 & 206/4d
West Indies 102 & 293 (target 457)
This Test was all about Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel’s performance as a partnership – their 14 wickets in the match led South Africa to victory in the series opener. After opting to bat, 50s from AB de Villiers (68), Ashwell Prince (58) and Mark Boucher (69) helped South Africa to a solid first-innings total. Steyn (5-29 and he got to the 200- wicket milestone) and Morkel (4-19) skittled the Windies out cheaply. Skipper Graeme Smith scored a second-innings 90 to set the Windies and near impossible total. The bowlers did the rest in the second innings and secured a comfortable win for the Proteas.
2nd Test, Basseterre – Match drawn
South Africa 543/6d & 235/3d
West Indies 546
A lifeless pitch meant the second Test ended in a high-scoring draw but also that South Africa could not lose the series. Again, Smith won the toss and he (133), Jacques Kallis (110) and De Villiers (135) all celebrated centuries before a declaration. The Proteas bowlers had to toil as well with Morkel (4-116) the standout, but at least Mark Boucher had picked up his 500th Test dismissal. Not much else happened in the match, although Kallis scored a second-innings 62 not out to cap a great outing for him personally.
3rd Test, Bridgetown – SA won by 7 wickets
West Indies 231 & 161
South Africa 346 & 49/3 (target 47)
Spinner Johan Botha was brought into the side because of the Bridgetown wicket and it paid dividends – he picked up seven wickets and the man-of-the-match award. The Windies won the toss for the first time in the series and chose to bat, but a group effort from the bowling unit made sure it didn’t matter. Botha’s 4-56, Steyn’s 3-37 and Kallis 2-36 were the highlights for the Proteas. South Africa managed a first-innings lead of over 100 thanks to Smith (70), De Villiers (73) and Prince (78) scoring 50s on a slow wicket.
In their second-innings reply, the Windies offered no resistance as Steyn, Morkel and Botha picked up three wickets each leaving South Africa with a target of 47 to wrap up the series 2-0. This particular Test was very feisty, with tensions flaring between Steyn and Suleiman Benn as well as Kemar Roach and Kallis.
Top-three series runs
G Smith – 371
AB de Villers – 330
J Kallis – 283
Top-three series wickets
D Steyn – 15
M Morkel – 14
J Botha – 7