South Africa started to pile up back-to-back session wins on the second day of the third Sunfoil Test against the West Indies at Newlands on Saturday to give themselves an excellent chance of taking control of the match.
Sessions were evenly shared on the first day when the West Indies scored 276 runs and the Proteas took 6 wickets. But the second day belonged largely to the Proteas as they closed on 227/3 with both Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers well set and their overall deficit reduced to 102 runs.
The Proteas started the day by removing the last four West Indies batsmen for 53 runs off 59 hectic deliveries. Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel took two wickets each while Jermaine Blackwood became the third batsman to score a half-century in the West Indies innings (56 off 113 balls, 6 fours). Steyn finished with figures of 4/78 in 25 overs – the 49th time on which he had taken four or more wickets in an innings.
Dean Elgar and Alviro Petersen then consolidated the Proteas position by adding 48 for the first wicket before the former copied Devon Smith of the West Indies in being dismissed in the lunch over.
The West Indies then opted largely for a policy of containment as the Proteas built a solid platform with Petersen and Faf du Plessis adding 96 for the second wicket before Petersen was run out, Du Plessis and Amla 53 for the third before Du Plessis (68 off 122 balls, 8 fours) was stumped off the deserving Suleiman Benn and then Amla and De Villiers a largely untroubled 70 for the unbeaten fourth wicket before rain prevented the extra half-hour from being played.
The Proteas scored 87/1 in the second session and 92/1 in the third to complete their domination of the second day.
The second new ball is just 11.3 overs away and that will be clearly be a crucial period for the West Indies in preventing the Proteas from building a decisive first innings lead.
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James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
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