South Africa ended the first Test a day early, dispatching the West Indies for 293 in their second innings; 163 runs short of the visitors’ total.
Despite being forced to toil for their wickets (a stark contrast to day three), South Africa delivered a comprehensive performance despite the stoic resistance of Chris Gayle. Only Gayle (73) and Dwayne Bravo (49) looked to halt an embarrassment at South African hands. But the crushing 163 run defeat proved even their efforts were too little too late.
Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn once again managed to draw life from an inanimate pitch, demonstrating again that they are the foremost fast bowling pair in Test cricket. Morkel again made the early headway, trapping Travis Dowlin (1) lbw with his first ball of the innings. Brendan Nash’s stay was once again brief, removed by Steyn five overs later, as the West Indies teetered at 39-2.
Gayle, coupled with the Test cricket stalwart Shivnarine Chanderpaul, consolidated and launched a counter-attack. Gayle raced to a half-century in 62 balls, yet could only watch as Chanderpaul lost concentration (edging Jacques Kallis to slip) to end a 55-run stand and the pair’s resistance. Gayle’s resistance continued for another 22 runs, but when Morkel landed the killer blow, removing him for the second time in the match, the West Indies knight had fallen.
Narsingh Deonarine failed to withstand a round-the-wicket attack from Steyn and became the third lbw of the innings after contributing 23. At 152-5, chasing 456 with a day remaining, West Indies’ chances of a favourable result had evaporated.
Deonarine’s dismissal ended a useful stand with Bravo (49), who fell to Paul Harris in a waiting game. Dinesh Ramdin then gifted Lonwabo Tsotsobe his first Test wicket, leaving the spinning duo – Sulieman Benn and Shane Shillingford – who earlier in the day had limited South Africa to 51 runs in 18.3 overs – to salvage some respectability.
Their 66-run stand in almost 15 overs, when even the South African quicks could extract nothing due to an old ball, was finally undone by Alviro Petersen; Shillingford following shortly after. Steyn finished the job, bowling Nelon Pascal off an inside edge to give South Africa their eighth successive victory over West Indies this tour.
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 (second innings) 206-4 declared
Graeme Smith 90, Jacques Kallis 40*, Sulieman Benn 3-74
West Indies second innings 293 all out
Chris Gayle 73, Dwayne Bravo 49, Dale Steyn 3-65
South Africa won by 163 runs with one day to spare