De Villiers puts Proteas in charge

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Published: Sunday 4th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Leon Johnson and Marlon Samuels steadied the ship for West Indies late on day three of their third Test with South Africa.

After AB de Villiers hit a masterful 148 to give the hosts – who lead the three-Test series 1-0 – a 92-run first-innings lead, the Windies looked in big trouble at 27 for two.

They lost Kraigg Braithwaite for 16 and Devon Smith for seven, and South Africa would have fancied making further inroads before the close.

But Johnson (37 not out) and Samuels (26no) put on 61 to reduce the deficit to four going into Monday, with their side 88 for two.

Braithwaite was cleaned up by Simon Harmer, while Smith gloved Morne Morkel behind to leave their side in trouble, giving South Africa further reasons to be cheerful.

Resuming on 227 for three, South Africa lost Hashim Amla 27 runs later, with the captain no doubt disappointed to have not made more of his overnight 55.

He got to 63 but edged Jason Holder behind, bringing Temba Bavuma out to the middle, but he stayed for just 15 runs before being cleaned up by Shannon Gabriel, playing across the line.

West Indies had a real chance with the home side on 288 for five but a 96-run stand between De Villiers and Stiaan van Zyl put the game back in South Africa’s control.

Van Zyl added 33 of them, leg before to Samuels, while at the other end De Villiers ticked over to his 21st Test hundred, the landmark coming off 144 balls.

With just the tail to keep De Villiers company it was a matter of racking up as many runs as possible, but the Windies made sure they were unable to cut loose.

Holder threw down Vernon Philander’s stumps for a duck, while debutant Harmer made 10 before he padded up to Jerome Taylor.

Johnson then ran Dale Steyn out for four, leaving De Villiers with next to no company and he slapped 13 more before holing out to long off, giving Samuels his second wicket and South Africa a total of 421.

Published: Sunday 4th January 2015 by The News Editor

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