The ICC No.7th ranked team South Africa defeated the No.6 ranked team West Indies by 158 runs on Day 4 at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground (DSCG) in Beausejour, Gros Islet to make a clean sweep of the Betway Test series 2 – 0.
Starting the day (Monday 21st June) at 15 without loss in pursuit of 324 for victory, the West Indies were in the game at 107 for 3 at one stage after lunch. Then left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj claimed a remarkable hat trick as he ended with 5 for 36 off 17.3 overs. He became the second South African to perform the feat in Test history.
Left-hand opening batsman Kieran Powell played well to top score with 51 – which occupied 2 ½ hours of defiance and came off 116 balls with nine boundaries.
He fell when he tried to launch Maharaj into the on-side but was caught by Anrich Nortje on the midwicket boundary. The next ball bowled saw the world’s top-ranked Test all-rounder Jason Holder caught by short-leg Keegan Petersen from a sharp inside edge. This was followed by Wiaan Mulder who took an excellent diving catch at leg-slip off Joshua Da Silva to complete the hat-trick.
West Indies lost captain Kraigg Brathwaite early for 6 as he edged Kagiso Rabada to his opposing skipper Dean Elgar at first slip with the score on 16. Rabada then accounted for Shai Hope (2) and had Kyle Mayers (34) to end with five wickets in the match which helped him secure the Player-of-the-Match award.
Mayers played well alongside Powell as they added 64 for the third wicket. After they stand was broken Jermaine Blackwood (25) and Kemar Roach (27) offered some resistance.
On Day 3, (Sunday 20th) Led by Kemar Roach and Kyles Mayers, West Indies ran through South Africa’s top-order and had given themselves a chance of victory in an enthralling second Betway Test match.
Roach took 4 for 52 with a mixture of supreme accuracy and clever each-way movement while Mayers had 3 for 24 with his lively medium-fast bowling on the third afternoon at the DSCG.
The Proteas were at one stage reduced to 73 for 7 but recovered to post 174 and set the West Indies a target of 324 thanks to an unbeaten 75 from Rassie van der Dussen off 142 deliveries which included 5 fours and 1 six and a career-best 40 from Kagiso Rabada from 48 deliveries.
West Indies resumed on Monday needing another 309 for victory with skipper Kraigg Brathwaite on 5 and Kieran Powell on 9.
Earlier in the day, rain caused the start to be delayed by two hours. South Africa started their second innings after lunch and were off to a less than ideal start when Roach drew an outside edge from Aiden Markram that was smartly held by Jason Holder at second slip.
Seven overs later, Roach and Holder combined again to remove skipper Dean Elgar to another good slip catch. Mayers’ introduction in the 14th over then proved a masterstroke from captain Kraigg Brathwaite, as the all-rounder struck with just his second delivery – Keegan Petersen chopping on for 18 to reduce South Africa to 44 for 3.
Mayers struck again in his third over, drawing an outside edge from Kyle Verreynne. That was the start of three wickets in as many overs for the West Indies, as Holder struck in the very next to remove the in-form Quinton de Kock for a “duck” before Wiaan Mulder also fell without scoring to Mayers.
After tea, Jayden Seales got in on the act, drawing an edge from Keshav Maharaj (6) that was brilliantly caught by Holder at full stretch, diving to his right at second slip. The spectacular take was his 30th catch in the slips and 50th overall – and he is now among a handful of players in history to make over 2,000 runs, take over 100 wickets and take 50 catches.
The match marked a return to fans in the stand as fully vaccinated spectators were allowed into the venue – the first time at an international cricket game in the Caribbean since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scores: South Africa 298 and 174; West Indies 149 and 165.
Result: South Africa won by 158 runs.
The teams will now travel to Grenada for the five-match T20 International series, starting on Saturday at the National Stadium.