Wed, Jan 07, 2015 - Page 20 News List

South Africa walk over West Indies to win final Test

Reuters, CAPE TOWN

South Africa’s Dale Steyn celebrates taking the wicket of the West Indies’ Sulieman Benn on the fourth day of the third Test in Cape Town on Monday.

Photo: AFP

Opener Dean Elgar hit an unbeaten 60 as South Africa coasted to a comfortable eight-wicket win over West Indies in the last Test at Newlands in Cape Town yesterday, winning the three-match series 2-0 and retaining their ranking as the top side in Tests.

Elgar and captain Hashim Amla (38 not out) saw South Africa home as they reached 124-2 wickets before lunch on the final day to secure the victory.

“It is good to still be the No. 1 Test team, but it’s not really about the ranking. It needs to be about being a winning team for a long time,” Amla said.

South Africa were 9-1 overnight and showed no hurry to knock off the remaining 115 runs they needed to win. The first 44 deliveries of the day failed to produce any runs before Elgar finally stroked a boundary off Jerome Taylor to break the stranglehold.

Faf du Plessis was out for 14 just after the first hour, handing Sulieman Benn a second wicket of the innings after the spinner bowled opener Aviro Petersen with the last ball on Monday. The tall, left-arm spinner toiled for 16 successive overs yesterday to finish with figures of 2-24.

The win added to South Africa’s victory by an innings and 220 runs in the first Test in Pretoria. The second test in Port Elizabeth was a rain-affected draw.

Rain also threatened to play a role in the final Test, as half of the fourth day was lost to bad weather, offering the West Indies a chance to create a contest after clawing back from a 92-run first innings deficit.

Their resistance crumbled after Marlon Samuels lost his wicket at 182-4 in the second innings on Monday, out for 74 to an injudicious slog that saw him caught on the boundary.

It precipitated a collapse, as their next six wickets went for a paltry 33 runs as they were dismissed for 215, leaving South Africa a modest target of 124 to win.

“He could have gone on and made a real difference,” Windies captain Denesh Ramdin said of Samuel’s rash dismissal. “We needed at least 70 more runs to be comfortable and make a game of it on the last day.”

Immediately after South Africa’s win, Petersen announced his retirement from international cricket.

Petersen, 34, said he wanted “to move on with his career” and plans to play county cricket and for the Johannesburg-based Lions for the next three years.

He played 36 Tests from 2010, scoring 2,093 runs at an average of 34.88 with five centuries, but has struggled for form recently.

“The last couple of months were really frustrating, as I felt my form was there, but I would like to have scored more runs,” he told a news conference.

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