Morkel heaps praise on Tahir

2014-12-29 23:12
Morne Morkel (Gallo)

Port Elizabeth - Proteas bowler Morne Morkel heaped praise on spinner Imran Tahir for sparking the collapse of the West Indies, who fell to 275/9 and were left still trailing by 142 runs in the first innings, at stumps, on day four of the second Test in Port Elizabeth on Monday.

"Immi has bowled very well for us, holding up one end while myself and Dale (Steyn) rotated from the top end," said Morkel after the close of play.

"Immi is always going to be in the game and pick up wickets in the tail."

The Caribbean outfit lost seven wickets for 44 runs late in the day with Tahir (3/108) collecting the big scalps of captain Denesh Ramdin, bowled for 20, before, two balls later, bowling Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who hit the ball between his legs, for seven.

"That wicket was crucial. We know Chanderpaul can bat a long time," said Morkel.

Morkel said it was a team effort when the attack made inroads into batting line-ups.

"We're a bowling unit: The most important thing is to bowl them out, no matter who picks up the wickets."

While Tahir's third victim was Sulieman Benn, out for 4 - overall, it was Morkel who returned the best figures on the day with 4/69, including taking the key wicket of Kraigg Brathwaite for 106.

It was Brathwaite's third Test century and first away from home.

Part of Morkel's strategy was a bodyline tactic coming from around the wicket which yielded results late in the day.

"We wanted to show why we're the best bowling unit in the world.

"When conditions are like they were today, you need to use aggression and that was key for me by coming around the wicket."

In the first session of the day, Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels shared in a 176-run stand for the West Indies. Their partnership was the highest third-wicket Test partnership for the team against South Africa.

Samuels brought up his sixth Test century with his knock of 101 from 160 balls with 14 fours and one six as the West Indies looked set to get close to the South African total of 417 for eight declared.

Samuels said if there had not been quite so much rain around St George's Park, his side would have been more competitive.

"If there wasn't any rain, we would have put up a very good challenge against the South Africans," said Samuels.

Despite being nine wickets down, Samuels said the plan was to keep South Africa for a while longer on the final day.

"If the rain stays away, we would still like to bat longer tomorrow and see what happens."

Read more on:    west indies  |  proteas  |  port elizabeth  |  cricket


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