Centurion - Proteas seamer Vernon Philander returned to his best form after a lean spell for most of 2014 to spearhead the destruction of the West Indies first innings on the third day of the first Test match at SuperSport Park on Friday.
As it happened: SA v West Indies - Day 3
Philander made the early inroads to dismiss both the West Indies opening batsmen after the only worthwhile partnership of the innings of 72 and then Morne Morkel ran through the lower order with Philander finishing with 4/29 and Morkel with 3/55.
The Proteas dismissed the West Indies for 201 in only 60.2 overs which left Hashim Amla with an easy decision to enforce the follow on with a mammoth lead of more than 350 runs.
A feature of the innings was some excellent slip catching by Amla and Alviro Petersen with the latter picking up another good one to dismiss Kraigg Brathwaite in the second innings.
Philander struck again at the start of the West Indies second innings to dismiss Devon Smith for a second time but then Amla’s best laid plans ran into unexpected trouble with both Philander and Dale Steyn leaving the field with injuries. This meant that the Proteas had an unprecedented four substitutes on the field with Faf du Plessis (stomach cramp) and Quinton de Kock (ankle strain) having been absent from the start of the third day.
Steyn (groin injury) did return to the field, no doubt to enable him to put in on-field time so that he can resume bowling early on the fourth morning.
With only two fit frontline seamers in Kyle Abbott and Morkel, Amla had to fall back on Stiaan van Zyl to bowl some back-up overs. Although he started with two wides in his first over the debutant did an excellent job of containment, conceding only 22 runs in a 10-over spell.
The West Indies were unable to put pressure on the restricted Proteas attack as they concentrated on survival and only maintained a run rate in the region of 2.5.
The West Indies closed on 76/2 for an overall deficit of 275 runs.