The West Indies were two wickets down and four runs behind South Africa’s first innings score at the close of day three, reports Jon Cardinelli at Newlands.
The day belonged to the Proteas. There were periods where the West Indies showed some fight to stifle the South Africans, but by the end of play the hosts had regained control of the contest.
Kraigg Brathwaite and Devon Smith were dismissed in the third session, while Leon Johnson and Marlon Samuels looked anything but comfortable. Indeed, the situation could have been worse for the visitors had the Proteas’ fielders held on to some difficult chances in the final hour of the day.
Nevertheless, the hosts have their noses well in front. Despite scoring 50 to 100 runs less than they would have liked, they are in a strong position to win this match and clinch the series 2-0.
South Africa began day three on 227-3 and went on to finish their innings on 421 thanks in large to the efforts of AB de Villiers. He was in superb touch after lunch, smashing Marlon Samuels for 16 runs in a single over to reach his century. The Newlands crowd responded vociferously when De Villiers reached three-figures. It was a treat to watch.
That said, De Villiers did live dangerously, and both he and Stiaan van Zyl were fortunate to survive during this period. Van Zyl was eventually out for 33, and this initiated a collapse. The Proteas lost their last four wickets for just 37 runs.
Credit must go to the West Indies bowlers, as well as the fielders, during this period. They created significant pressure, and when there was a chance to effect a run-out, they didn’t miss it. Both Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn perished in this fashion.
South Africa finished their innings with a 92-run lead. The West Indies batsmen struggled to settle after tea, and Smith was out when he gloved a leg-side Morne Morkel delivery to De Villiers. Debutant Simon Harmer bowled Brathwaite shortly after that.
Heavy cloud cover and some rain is forecast for day four. The overcast conditions may allow the Proteas to make further inroads into the West Indies batting lineup. There should also be more turn on offer for Harmer, who has claimed four wickets in this match thus far.
DAY THREE 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 – 88-2 (Leon Johnson 37 not out, Marlon Samuels 26 not out, Morné Morkel 1-10)
West Indies trail by 4 runs