Holder holds on in the end, South Africa maintain lead
South Africa vs West Indies
Day 2 of 2nd Test
Venue: The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Toss: South Africa decided to bat
Jason Holder showed that concentrated application on the Wanderers pitch could reap rewards, as he top-scored with an unbeaten 81 in the West Indies’ first innings with. The former number 1 all-rounder in the world had the perfect mixture of defense and counter-attacking play as he hit eight fours and four towering sixes off 117 balls. He guided the lower order and the highlight was a brilliant 58-run last wicket partnership with Gudakesh Motie, who demonstrated his tenacity and batting skills with for 17 from 40 balls.
West Indies began the day with three wickets to take in order to close out the South African innings and did so in tidy fashion, cleaning up the Proteas tail within 20 minutes of the start of play. Kyle Mayers knicked off Simon Harmer, before Alzarri Joseph accounted for Keshav Maharaj and Gerald Coetzee, with all three batsmen scored one run a piece. South Africa however ended with a valuable 320, due to the quick scoring of their top order in the first two sessions on Day 1.
Openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Tagenarine Chanderpaul came to the crease to begin the innings for the visitors and looked solid until the latter was unfortunately run out going for a quick single in the fourth over. The West Indies then struggled to build partnerships before Holder entered at Number 8 and played with great aplomb. Kyle Mayers (29 from 83 balls) had the next most significant score, with Roston Chase (28 from 53) and Joshua Da Silva (26 from 63) also getting starts.
Speaking about the innings, Holder said:
“For me, it was more or less trying to play the situation as it is. However, to do that, you must put trust in your partner, and I decided I was going to do that, and you see how he (Motie) responded to that as well.” Going on to address whether this signals a return to form with the bat, he explained: “I have done a lot of hard yards in the nets, and I am pretty pleased with the innings I played today.”
For South Africa, newcomer Gerard Coetzee (3-41) was the standout bowler in the innings, with Kagiso Rabada (2-19) and Simon Harmer (2-63) also having notable performances.
The third day will begin with Aiden Markram (1 from 9) and Dean Elgar (3 from 9) at the crease, having survived three overs at the end of play today. However, the West Indies will be eager to get into the Proteas batting line-up, especially with the memories of second innings collapse at SuperSport Park fresh in their minds.
The Test match is still very much alive, with South Africa only leading by 73 runs. First ball on Friday is 10am (4am EasternCaribbean/3am Jamaica).