Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel removed nine of the West Indies batsmen to leave South Africa totally dominant, leading by 405 at stumps on day three of the first Test.
The West Indies were bundled out for just 102; in the process Steyn becoming the fourth fast bowler (after Clarrie Grimmett, Dennis Lillee and Waqar Younis) to reach 200 Test wickets.
Morkel made the early inroads, snatching three quick scalps (of Chris Gayle, Travis Dowlin and Brendan Nash) to reduce the hosts to 12-3. Morkel managed to extract life from a slow, irresponsive pitch and bully the top order in the morning session, all wickets falling to shorter deliveries. His burst left the West Indian innings in tatters, but the pairing of Narsingh Deonarine (29) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (26) provided stiff opposition.
Their 59-run fourth-wicket stand looked to momentarily consolidate a West Indian response, but Steyn had other ideas, tearing through the resistance with reverse swing at pace. Six wickets fell for just four runs in under five overs, Steyn snaring 5-24. Despite a modest rearguard action (a 27-run partnership between Denesh Ramdin and Nelon Pascal) pushing the score past 100, the innings was over (confirmed by Jacques Kallis’s first scalp), and a 250 run lead the Protea’s.
Notably, Paul Harris failed to have any impact, let alone that of the West Indian spinners in the first innings, conceding 25 runs in his six overs.
Deciding against the follow-on, Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen put on 56 despite increasing frequent displays of massively inconsistent bounce. Sulieman Benn then trapped Petersen (22) in front, whilst Hashim Amla (5) again fell to the spinners, driving uppishly to reduce South Africa to 79-2.
Smith fought to a half-century off 78 balls and found traces of the form that has eluded him of late. Kallis was belligerent, his first boundary a massive six over long-on off debutant Shane Shillingford and took South Africa’s lead past 400 with a savage pull off Pascal. Fading light forced the players from the field, but with Smith (79*) and Kallis (40*) at the helm with two days to play, the Proteas look to be in a winning position.
South Africa (first innings) 352 all out
Mark Boucher 69, AB de Villiers 68, Sulieman Benn 5-120
West Indies (first innings) 102 all out
Narsingh Deonarine 29, Dale Steyn 5-24, Morne Morkel 4-19
South Africa (first innings) 155-2
Graeme Smith 79*, Jacques Kallis 40*, Sulieman Benn 1-46
South Africa lead by 405 runs with 8 wickets remaining
For a full scorecard click here.
By Rory Keohane