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Philander, Morkel Put South Africa On Top

Philander, Morkel Put South Africa On Top
Vernon Philander steered the course for South Africa with the ball as West Indies struggled to match the scathing pace attack.
©REUTERS / Action Images

South Africa 552-5 dec. (Amla 208) v
West Indies 201 (Vernon Philander 4-29) & 76/2 (Leon Johnson 33no, Vernon Philander 1-0)
First Test, Centurion, day three

Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel steered the course for South Africa with the ball as West Indies struggled to match the scathing pace attack.

After a lengthy rain delay on day two, the proceedings of day three began 30 minutes early to make up for the lost time.

A 72-run opening stand between Kraigg Brathwaite (34) and Devon Smith (35) raised hopes for the West Indies team.

Devon Smith was adjudged caught behind off Philander in a decision that was not very convincing. Kraigg Brathwaite departed in quick succession, putting West Indies in further trouble.

Post lunch break, South Africa kept picking wickets at regular interval as West Indies failed to build a stable partnership to anchor the innings.

Leon Johnson (31) and Marlon Samuels (33) managed to get the starts, however, both the middle order batsmen failed to make it count.

West Indies lost their final five wickets for only 39 runs.

Just at the stroke of tea, Morne Morkel picked up the final wicket and Hashim Amla enforced the follow on.

Kemar Roach, who picked up an injury on day two, could not come out to bat.

Vernon Philander picked four wickets for 29 runs and was the most successful bowler for South Africa.

Morne Morkel took three wickets for 55 runs and played a vital supporting role. Kyle Abbott (1-50) and Dean Elgar (1-8) were the other wicket takers.

West Indies came out to bat with an uphill task to save the game after the follow on was enforced.

South Africa continued to have a wonderful day with the ball as Vernon Philander struck in the fourth over to remove Devon Smith (5) twice on the same day.

Kraigg Brathwaite (20) and Leon Johnson (33) put on a small 44-run partnership for the second wicket, however, Morne Morkel struck in the nineteenth over to remove Brathwaite.

During the course of his innings, Kraigg Brathwaite became the first player born in 1992 to get past 1000 Test career runs.

Marlon Samuels (13 not out) and Leon Johnson managed to hold onto their wickets till the end of days play.

On day four, West Indies would be hoping to get rescued by their middle order, whereas South African pacers will be keen on finishing the job after a night's rest.

It will be only a matter of few wickets before the South Africans start sniffing the victory as West Indies would aim to avoid the humiliation of an innings defeat.

© Cricket World 2014