Skipper Kraigg Braithwaite admits “it didn’t happen” in Test series as flaws become all too apparent
Kraigg Brathwaite’s woeful Windies succumbed to South Africa, after being whittled out for a dismal 106 to suffer a shocking 284-run 2nd Test defeat inside the DP World Wanderers Stadium on Saturday.
The skipper, dismissed by Kagiso Rabada for a fourth time in the two-Test series, saw his troops blown away in Johannesburg after struggling to come anywhere near their tough target of 391 for victory.
Having come close to scoring success in the opening Test before crumbling, the Windies were expected to show more fighting spirit. It’s now time for the once almighty Caribbean side to hit the reset button yet again.
The hosts were permitted an immediate stranglehold on the contest after drumming up 320 in their first innings. Only Bajan all rounder Jason Holder’s unbeaten knock of 81 held together the response, with the Windies dismissed for 251.
However, South Africa hit cruise control to reach 321 to set the Windies a formidable task. Captain Temba Bavuma bagged his first Test century in seven years, with a spectacular knock that showed up the tourists’ flaws.
It could have been far worse for the West Indies. The fourth day’s play saw South Africa resume on 287-7, with their innings over within just 36 minutes.
Bavuma only added a single to his overnight score of 171, caught by Kemar Roach at deep square leg off fellow Bajan Holder. And the former Test captain added another wicket when he brilliantly caught and bowled Rabada (16) to wrap up the innings.
Fast bowler Rabada proved to be an early thorn in the side for the Windies, who stuttered to an abysmal 34-6 by the lunch break, by trapping two of the most respected Barbados batsmen. He sent Brathwaite (18) back to the pavilion with a delivery that straightened for a leg before decision, and two balls later Raymon Reifer gloved a catch to wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen without scoring.
Specialist spinners Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj each grabbed a pair of wickets, which left the tourists all at sea by lunch and staring at an embarrassingly hefty defeat .
Trinidadian Da Silva (34) and Holder (19) rescued the humiliation. They were initially resilient at the crease, adding a quickfire 48-run seventh wicket partnership. Both were clean bowled by Gerald Coetzee going for an ambitious big hit.
The two sixes from Antigua’s Alzarri Joseph at least took the tourists into a three-figure total. Yet he became the final wicket of the series, stumped by Klaasen off Harmer for 18, as the Windies finished short of their formidable chase.
Braithwaite admitted: “Technically we need to work on our flaws, but [the] mind needs to be in the right place — it’s all about the grind. Test cricket can be tough.
“Our bowlers got 40 wickets in the series, that’s a good accomplishment. Bowling wise, at some crucial times, we were still too expensive.
“We didn’t score enough runs, as simple as that — batting wise we weren’t good enough. Away from home we haven’t scored enough runs, but we are making some good steps. We’ve got to show that we are top batsmen and we haven’t done that.
“As a leader I like to lead from the front, and it didn’t happen in this series. Next series, I’ve got to be better.”
1st Test | South Africa beat West Indies by 87 runs
SA 342 (86.3 overs) & 116 (28 overs)
WI 212 (69 overs) & 159 (21 overs)
2nd Test | South Africa beat West Indies by 284 runs
SA 320 (92.2 overs) & 321 (100.4 overs)
WI 251 (79.3 overs) & 106 (35.1 overs)
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