CARL LEWIS lists the five best individual match-winning performances from South Africans against the Windies in the Caribbean.
South Africa’s tour of the West Indies has been confirmed with two Tests set to be played at Gros Islet next month. It’s been over a decade since the Proteas last played a Test match in the Caribbean, so it’s appropriate to reminisce with some nostalgia.
2005 – 2nd Test – SA won by 8 wickets
Makhaya Ntini 6-95 & 7-37
Ntini recorded his best Test figures of 7-37 to complete a sensational 13-wicket match haul. Ntini ripped through the West Indies batting lineup in both innings to seal an emphatic eight-wicket win.
His match figures of 13-132 were the best by a South African in Test history, surpassing a record that had stood for 53 years – Hugh Tayfield’s 13-165 against Australia in Melbourne. Only three players have bagged 13 wickets in a match for South Africa: Ntini, Tayfield and Kagiso Rabada.
What made it more special was that Shaun Pollock was not playing and Allan Donald had just retired. Ntini had also gone wicketless in the first Test had copped the hairdryer treatment from then coach Ray Jennings.
2001 – 4th Test – SA won by 82 runs
Shaun Pollock 48* & 41* and 2-25 & 3-41
Pollock might not have scored a 50 or picked up a five-for, but he was instrumental in this series securing the win with both bat and ball in every innings of the match. In the first innings, the Proteas were on the ropes at 148-7 but Pollock’s 48 not out took the sting out of the Windies’ momentum to finish on 247. The Windies were rolled over for 140 in reply with Pollock bowling 22 overs and ending on 2-25.
Captaining the side, Pollock made another crucial 41 not out in the second innings and then helped to skittle the Windies out cheaply to win by 82 runs and take the series. This performance epitomised Pollock’s value as an all-rounder.
2001 – 2nd Test – SA won by 69 runs
Daryll Cullinan 103 & 73
In a low-scoring match on a challenging wicket in Port of Spain, Cullinan stood tallest in both innings. He scored his 13th Test century in the first innings with only Jacques Kallis getting runs. The Windies led after both first innings were completed but a wonderful 149-run partnership between Cullinan and Herschelle Gibbs set up the South African bowlers, who did the business to help the Proteas win by 69 runs. Cullinan picked up man of the match for his outstanding batting on a slow and low wicket. In the third Test, he scored 134 and 82 to continue his impressive form.
2005 – 3rd Test – SA won by an innings and 86 runs
Andre Nel 4-56 & 6-32
Nel’s 10-wicket match haul set up a big South African win by an innings and 86 runs. As usual, he picked up the wicket of his bunny, Brian Lara, in both innings. The second was especially important after Lara had scored 176. Although openers AB de Villiers and Graeme Smith scored centuries it was Nel’s incisiveness and aggression that rattled the Windies and secured the series win. This performance came after Ntini’s outstanding 13-wicket haul in the previous Test.
2010 – 1st Test – SA won by 163 runs
Dale Steyn 5-29 & 3-65 and Morne Morkel 4-19 & 2-23
Dale Steyn won man of the match but this was a double act as he and Morne Morkel proved their quality as a dynamic fast-bowling duo. At the time, they were the most incisive new-ball pair in the world with Morkel ripping through the Windies top order and Steyn finishing up the middle order and tail. The fast-bowling pair would prove to be the axis on which the Proteas’ future success was built on.