Windies’ tails wag, but Proteas hold on to slim advantage on day two

Windies’ tails wag, but Proteas hold on to slim advantage on day two
Kagiso Rabada of the Proteas celebrates the wicket of Kraigg Brathwaite of the West Indies with his teammates during day two of the 2nd Betway Test match between South Africa and West Indies at DP World Wanderers Stadium on 9 March 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo: Lee Warren / Gallo Images)

South Africa lead by 73 runs in the second innings after allowing West Indies to reach 251 before bowling them out.

Former West Indies skipper, Jason Holder, came in to bat at No. 8 on Thursday afternoon with his side in a precarious position of 116 for six, before blasting an unbeaten 81 to help the Windies to 251 all out — just 69 runs short of South Africa’s first innings total. 

The lanky all-rounder starred in two telling partnerships with the final two Windies batters at the Bullring. First Holder and Kemar Roach put a vital 31 runs together for the ninth wicket, before he and No. 11, Gudakesh Motie, scored a team-high partnership of 58 runs for the final wicket. 

“Jason [Holder] batted really well, credit to him. That last partnership… if it’s a 50 run partnership, it’s tough to deal with. Luckily we still have a good lead, we’ll take that,” said Proteas bowler Gerald Coetzee to the media after the day’s play. 

Coetzee was the pick of the South African bowling unit, claiming three wickets at the cost of 41 runs during his 14-over spell of tormenting the Windies willow-wielders. 

Roach and Motie were brave in defence themselves, scoring 13 and 17 respectively, but more importantly faced 67 deliveries between them to help Holder accumulate from the other end. 

The Proteas were without star bowler Kagiso Rabada at the latter stage of the day – he apparent suffered a back spasm after bowling 12 overs in the day, less than any other South African bowler. He still managed two wickets before his exit.

Holder was particularly brutal to the spin bowling of Simon Harmer and Keshav Mahraj, striking four sixes against them and ensuring the pair could not bog down the scoring.

Jason Holder of the West Indies during day two of the 2nd Betway Test match between South Africa and West Indies at DP World Wanderers Stadium on 9 March 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo: Lee Warren / Gallo Images)

Fast and furious

South Africa could only add nine runs to their overnight total of 311 for seven at the Wanderers before Kyle Mayers and Alzarri Joseph wrapped up the tail. 

The final wicket to fall, that of Gerald Coetzee, was a peach of a delivery by Joseph – a back of a length ball that whizzed past Coetzee and just caught the tip of his glove. 

Although the delivery signalled the end of South Africa’s innings, it showed that the pitch had life in it after South Africa’s top-order batters made it look docile on day one. 

Despite that, skipper Temba Bavuma surprisingly elected to give the shiny new ball to the rudimentary medium pace of Mulder instead of starlet Coetzee to share with Rabada.

After three overs with very little action – from the bat or with the ball – the skipper pulled out a piece of magic himself with an athletic bit of fielding.

Bavuma glided from mid-on to cover to collect a potential drop and run, by Kraigg Brathwaite, with one hand before flinging it at the stumps while Tagenarine Chanderpaul found himself well out of the popping crease. 

Windies skipper Brathwaite was the next man in the sheds after edging an almost unplayable delivery off Rabada for 17 runs. 

Jermaine Blackwood didn’t last long either, scoring a run-a-ball six, after Coetzee was introduced into the attack and found a faint edge off the blade of the middle-order batter, pouched by keeper Heinrich Klaasen. 

The wickets continued to tumble as Coetzee got rid of Raymon Reifer for 15 a couple of overs later, excellently caught by Tony de Zorzi at short-square leg.

The Windies were 51 for four when Reifer’s wicket fell, but Roston Chase and Mayers consolidated to take the team to 73 for four at lunch. A total of seven wickets fell for 82 runs in the morning session — six to fast bowling.

Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations

Second session

The pair continued after the break to put on a solid fifth-wicket partnership of 52 before Mulder reentered the attack to claim his first wicket of the innings.

Chase was unfortunate in his dismissal, inside edging the Mulder delivery onto his pad before the red leather slowly rolled onto the off-stump to dislodge the ball.

Sniffing blood, Bavuma turned to Rabada who, in turn, dismissed Mayers for a patient 29 off 83 balls. 

Rabada finished with economical figures of 19 runs in his 12 overs, taking two wickets.

West Indies were 116 for six at that stage, still trailing the Proteas by 204 runs.

Wagging tail

Joshua Da Silva and Holder were patient in rebuilding the innings as the pair nudged and nurdled the spin of Harmer and Maharaj around to accumulate a 41-run seventh wicket stand. 

During this time, Da Silva smashed a pull shot straight at the head of De Zorzi, still at short-leg. Luckily the blow hit the 25-year-old flush on his protective helmet and he hopped back onto his feet a short while after.

Harmer eventually broke through the defences of Da Silva, outfoxing him with a fuller delivery to dismiss him for 26 runs. 

With only the tail left, Holder began to farm the strike and play wonderful strokes in his 117-ball 81. The all-rounder struck eight fours to go with his four sixes. 

Had the tail of Joseph, Roach and Motie stuck with him longer, Holder might still be swinging his long levers at the ball and striking it into the midwicket fence. 

After the wicket of Motie, the Proteas opening batters of Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram were forced to see out a tricky three overs before the close of play. 

The pair did so successfully, scoring four runs to extend their lead to 73 runs in the second innings. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.