South Africa vs West Indies: Ramdin leads fightback after Harmer triple
Debutant off-spinner Simon Harmer took three wickets before West Indian captain Denesh Ramdin led a fightback against South Africa on the first day of the third and final Test at Newlands on Friday.
Newlands, Cape Town: Debutant off-spinner Simon Harmer took three wickets before West Indian captain Denesh Ramdin led a fightback against South Africa on the first day of the third and final Test at Newlands on Friday.
At stumps at Newlands, West Indies, who are attempting to square the series, were 276 for six.
Ramdin (53) and Jermaine Blackwood (45 not out) put on 94 for the sixth wicket to enable the tourists to finish with a respectable total after it seemed they had squandered the advantage of winning the toss and batting first on an easy-paced pitch.
Harmer took three for 67 and was mainly responsible for the West Indies slipping to 172 for five, dismissing Devon Smith, Leon Johnson and Shivnarine Chanderpaul during an impressive first day of Test cricket.
Harmer, 25, replaced leg-spinner Imran Tahir in the only change from the South African team that played in the rain-hit drawn second Test in Port Elizabeth.
He made an early impact by taking a wicket with the last ball of his fourth over.
It was also the last ball before lunch and came from a disappointing shot by Smith, who made 47 and seemed to be settling down after being beaten several times early on by the South African fast bowlers.
Smith tried to cut a ball which was too close to his body and chopped the ball onto his stumps.
Johnson played some handsome strokes in making 54 off 84 balls with nine fours.
He added 51 for the third wicket with Marlon Samuels before he was deceived by a quicker ball from Harmer which curved in with the arm and struck the batsman on his front pad deep in his crease.
The leg before wicket decision was so obvious that Johnson did not even contemplate asking for a review, departing for the dressing room immediately.
Samuels looked in good form, scoring 43 off 70 balls, but hung his head in shame after playing a loose drive against the first ball sent down by part-time bowler Stiaan van Zyl, bowling at a gentle medium pace. The ball went straight to Faf du Plessis at cover.
Worse for the West Indies was to follow with the first ball after tea.
In what appeared to be a planned move, Harmer fired the ball down the leg side and Chanderpaul was smartly stumped by AB de Villiers.
Chanderpaul was out for nine -- his fourth successive failure in a series in which he has scored only 41 runs in four innings.
Ramdin, whose previous highest score in eight Tests against South Africa was 32, struck the ball solidly in making his half-century before falling to Dale Steyn shortly before the close.
He mistimed a slower ball to offer a return catch to the fast bowler.
Steyn took the first wicket of the day when he had Kraigg Brathwaite caught at gully.
His two wickets for the day took him to 391 Test wickets and second place on South Africa`s all-time wicket-taking list, one ahead of Makhaya Ntini and behind only Shaun Pollock, who took 421.
Blackwood was picked as an extra batsman in place of left-arm seamer Kenroy Peters and justified his selection with a dogged innings.
There was less assistance than expected for the seam bowlers, despite the pitch having a good coverage of grass, and South African captain Hashim Amla used Harmer for 25 overs, while part-timers Van Zyl and Dean Elgar bowled eight and two overs respectively.