Botha, Steyn put South Africa on top
Bridgetown: South Africa were 46-2 at stumps on the first day of the final test against West Indies after their attack, led by John Botha and Dale Steyn, had helped restrict the home team to 231 all out.
Off-spinner Botha was the most successful Proteas bowler with four wickets for 56 runs from 19.5 overs, as West Indies, electing to bat on a hard, true pitch at Kensington Oval, were dismissed about 40 minutes before the scheduled close on Saturday.
Steyn supported with three for 37 from 13 overs, and Jacques Kallis took two for 36 from 12.
Dwayne Bravo struck four fours and one six in the top score of 61 from 104 balls for West Indies, with left-hander Narsingh Deonarine being the only other batsman to offer prolonged resistance, making 46.
South Africa then suffered an early setback, when opener Alviro Peter Sen was caught at mid-wicket off Kemar Roach for one, miscuing a hook at a short ball.
And Hashim Amla, the most prolific batsmen in the proceding limited overs matches, continued to struggle in the longer format, when he was caught at backward point for five, cutting Sulieman Benn’s first delivery just before the close.
Earlier, Deonarine and Shivnarine Chanderpaul thwarted South Africa, after they made a bright start before lunch.
The South African new-ball pair of Morkel and Steyn removed West Indies openers Dale Richards and Chris Gayle cheaply.
But the Proteas were made to toil for the remainder of the session, as Deonarine and Chanderpaul batted through to the interval with little or no alarms.
After lunch, Botha took all three West Indies wickets to fall to tighten South Africa’s grip, as West Indies slumped to 159 for five at tea.
With Botha bowling steadily at one end, and Morkel steaming-in at the other end, run scoring dried-up for West Indies, and the pressure took a toll on Deonarine.
Botha bowled Deonarine, with the batsman pulled at a delivery that was quite that short.
Denesh Ramdin joined Bravo, and for the next hour and a quarter, they consolidated West Indies position.
After Tea, Kallis had Ramdin caught at deep fine leg for 27 hooking to end his stand of 76 with Bravo, whose 50 came from 88 balls with two off Steyn to mid-on.
The South Africans then ran through the tail-end of the West Indies batting, snaring the last five wickets for 50 runs from 79 deliveries.