Agencies/ Gros Islet, St. Lucia
• It was just the second Test hat-trick in the country’s history, after seamer Geoff Griffin managed the feat against England in 1960
Keshav Maharaj became only the second South African to take a Test hat-trick as he ripped through the West Indies middle order with five wickets to help his side to an emphatic 158-run victory in the second Test in Saint Lucia yesterday.
South Africa, who claimed the series 2-0 after winning the opening game by an innings and 63 runs, bowled out their hosts for 165 in pursuit of a victory target of 324 on the fourth day at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.
The home side were in the game at 107 for three when left-arm spinner Maharaj (5-36) claimed the scalp of Kieran Powell (51), who tried to launch him to the midwicket boundary but picked out lone fielder Anrich Nortje.
The world’s top-ranked Test all-rounder Jason Holder was caught by short-leg Keegan Petersen first ball, and Wiaan Mulder took an excellent diving catch at leg-slip off Joshua Da Silva to complete the hat-trick and spark wild South African celebrations. It was just the second Test hat-trick in the country’s history, after seamer Geoff Griffin managed the feat against England at Lord’s in 1960.
“We haven’t won a series on the road for quite some time,” South Africa captain Dean Elgar said. “The boys stood up. It was great to see guys like KG (Kagiso Rabada) rock up and do what he does, and great to see Keshav (get the hat-trick).”
West Indies had started the day on 15 without loss, but lost captain Kraigg Brathwaite (6) early as he edged Rabada (3-44) to Elgar at first slip, one of nine wickets the fast bowler took in the match.
Rabada accounted for Shai Hope (2) and had Kyle Mayers (34) plumb lbw off a no-ball, but later did pick up the wicket of the attacking left-hander with Elgar catching a skier.
West Indies were left to rue too many reckless shots and a lack of patience at the crease.
“As a batting unit, we let ourselves down,” Brathwaite said. “We were going good (in the chase), but we didn’t carry on. That hurt us and, including myself, we fell short.
“As batsmen, we know what we did wrong. We have to learn from this and come back strongly.”
The South Africans celebrated noisily as Maharaj joined fast bowler Geoff Griffin as the only players to take Test hat-tricks for South Africa. Griffin, whose career was subsequently ruined by doubts over the legality of his bowling action, achieved the feat against England at Lord’s in 1960. Until that over, South Africa had relied on the excellence of Rabada to limit West Indies’ prospects after they resumed at the overnight position of 15 without loss.
With the memory of their successful bid to chase down 395 against Bangladesh in February still fresh in their minds, the home side even had thoughts of winning the Test and squaring the series.
That scenario changed quickly as captain Kraigg Braithwaite gave his South African counterpart Dean Elgar a straightforward catch at first slip and Shai Hope, who never looked comfortable against the short-pitched aggression of his opponents, fended at another spiteful delivery angled into his body, a faint touch off his left glove carrying through to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock. Mayers was adjudged leg-before to the very first ball he faced from Rabada, only for the verdict to be negated by the fast bowler’s delivery being ruled a no-ball. Granted the reprieve, Mayers grew in authority alongside Powell, their partnership worth 64 to give the home team hope of causing considerable anxiety in the South African camp. However Mayers, on 34, spoiled all of that good work when he inexplicably attempted a pull to Rabada and the top-edge was well-judged by Elgar running back from first slip.
South Africa 1st Innings — 298
West Indies 1st Innings — 149
South Africa 2nd Innings — 174
West Indies 2nd Innings — overnight 15-0
K. Brathwaite c Elgar b Rabada 6
K. Powell c Nortje b Maharaj 51
S. Hope c Markram b Rabada 6
K. Mayers c Elgar b Rabada 34
J. Blackwood c de Kock b Ngidi 25
J. Holder c Petersen b Maharaj 0
J. da Silva c Mulder b Maharaj 0
K. Roach c Ngidi b Maharaj 27
J. Seales c Nortje b Maharaj 7
S. Gabriel not out 2
R. Chase absent hurt
Extras (b-4, lb-3, nb-2, w-2) 11
Total (58.3 overs, 9 wkts) 165
Fall of wickets: 1-16 (Brathwaite), 2-26 (Hope), 3-90 (Mayers), 4-107 (Powell), 5-107 (Holder), 6-107 (da Silva), 7-147 (Blackwood), 8-158 (Roach), 9-165 (Seales)
Bowling: K. Rabada 16-3-44-3 (2nb), L. Ngidi 10-2-29-1(1w), K. Maharaj 17.3-7-36-5, A. Nortje 11-3-35-0 (1w), W. Mulder 4-0-14-0
Result: South Africa won by 158 runs
Toss: West Indies
Umpires: Joel Wilson (WIS), Gregory Brathwaite (WIS)
Match Referee: Richie Richardson (WIS)
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