South Africa needed just 115 runs to win, with nine wickets remaining, at the close of play on the fourth day of the third Test against West Indies, at Newlands in Cape Town on Monday.
The Proteas – led by Simon Harmer (4/82) and Dale Steyn (3/75) – bowled out the visitors for 215 in the second innings, meaning South Africa required just 124 to win the match and the series 2-0.
Play started at 3pm after persistent rain did not allow any morning play, and the West Indies resumed on 88 for two in their second innings trailing South Africa by just four runs.
Leon Johnson edged a Steyn delivery when he was on 37 and Hashim Amla put in a despairing dive, getting a faint touch on it, before the ball raced to the boundary.
Johnson departed in the next over for 44 as Morne Morkel found the edge, and Amla took the rising catch at first slip to leave the West Indies 95 for three.
Harmer removed Marlon Samuels for 74 from 150 balls when the aggressive batsman attempted to clear the long-on boundary. However, Elgar took a good running catch to leave the West Indies 182 for four.
This breakthrough brought an end to a dogged period of defiance between Samuels and Shivnarine Chanderpaul of 87 runs from 168 balls for the fourth wicket.
Late in the day, Steyn picked up his first wicket as he clean-bowled Jermaine Blackwood for 13. With the visitors falling to 202 for five, the collapse was sparked.
Steyn with his next ball ousted wicketkeeper captain Denesh Ramdin for a first ball duck, caught by Harmer diving forward at square leg.
Harmer and Steyn combined to wrap up the West Indies innings, with the visitors losing their last six wickets for 13 runs.
Chanderpaul was the last wicket to fall, run out for 50 in his 113 ball stay at the crease, striking five fours.
West Indies coach Stuart Williams was not impressed with the shot selection of his key batsman.
“He [Chanderpaul] just missed the moment in the game, that was the moment when everything fell away and he just played an awful shot,” said Williams.
“This is international cricket and we have to seize the moment, and we didn’t do that well today.”
‘Why we’re number one’
After the Proteas claimed the last six West Indies wickets for 13 runs, Morkel said his attack showed why they were tops internationally.
“We showed why we’re the best bowling unit in the world,” said Morkel after taking 2/18 on the day.
“We work it session by session to break teams down.”
It was not all smooth sailing for the Proteas when they came into bat to face three overs left in the day.
Struggling opener Alviro Petersen was bowled by West Indies spinner Sulieman Benn for a duck to leave the hosts on nine for one heading into the final day.
Dean Elgar, on five, was not out at close of play. – Sapa, Staff reporter