Steyn, Morkel And Smith Put South Africa In The Clear
South Africa 352 & 155-2 (Smith 79no) v
West Indies 102 (Steyn 5-29, Morkel 4-19)
First Test, day three, Trinidad
South Africa closed day three of the first Test against the West Indies in Trinidad some 405 runs ahead after taking total control of the game.
In reply to 352, the West Indies were bowled out for just 102, a devastating spell of reverse-swing bowling from Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel handing them a first-innings deficit of 250.
Despite the huge advantage, South Africa chose to bat again and an unbeaten half-century from captain Graeme Smith enabled them to reach stumps on 155 for two.
Morne Morkel began to make inroads to the West Indian batting line up with the new ball by having Travis Dowlin caught at slip by Smith for four, Brendan Nash caught by wicket-keeper Mark Boucher as he tried to evade a rising delivery for one and then Chris Gayle bowled as he bottom-edged an attempted pull shot onto his stumps.
Dowlin's stay, in particular, was an uncomfortable one as the West Indies slipped to 12 for three. 59 runs were then added by Shivnarine Chanderpaul (26) and Narsingh Deonarine (29) before the home side lost their remaining seven wickets for 31 runs in a helter-skelter passage of play.
Boucher took two more catches, first a simple chance as Chanderpaul fended Steyn up in the air and then another when Dwayne Bravo (1) attempted to leave the ball facing Morkel, took his eye of it and was caught when the ball stayed low and clipped his gloves.
Deonarine left a delivery from Steyn, as the reverse swing began to take effect, only to see it crash into his stumps and one ball later Shane Shillingford was trapped in front to leave Steyn on a hat-trick.
He couldn't pick that up but he did claim his 200th Test wicket when Sulieman Benn (0) was beaten for pace and comprehensively bowled and the five-wicket haul was completed when Ravi Rampaul (0) became the second man to leave a straight one.
The innings came to a swift end when Nelon Pascal heaved the ball to Alviro Petersen off the bowling of Jacques Kallis for three, leaving Denesh Ramdin unbeaten on 25.
Steyn finished with five for 29 having at one point taken five for five in his third spell and Morkel returned four for 19 in what must rank as one of his best days with the ball in Test cricket.
South Africa decided against enforcing the follow-on, choosing to bat on and despite losing Petersen (22) and Hashim Amla (5) they closed in a dominant position.
Petersen was trapped in front by Benn and Amla chipped Shillingford to Deonarine before Smith made his way to 79 not out in 135 balls and Kallis made an aggressive unbeaten 40 in 63 balls with four fours and a six to steer South Africa to a position of great strength.
© Cricket World 2010