The Proteas never panicked says, Rassie van der Dussen
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JOHANNESBURG - Even with the scoreboard showing their second innings total on 54/6 on Sunday, the South Africans weren’t panicking.
A first innings lead of 149 runs, had given them control of the second Test against the West Indies at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia, and they knew if they could scrape together one good partnership they could be in a position to reduce the West Indies confidence at the stage.
“Even at 50/6, we knew we were 200 ahead and even at that stage we were asking them to score their biggest score of the series,” Rassie van der Dussen said after stumps on Sunday.
The South Africans have bowled the West Indies out for 97, 162 and 149 in this series, so are right to feel confident of their chances having set Kraigg Brathwaite’s men 324 to win to tie the series. Brathwwaite and Kieran Powell will resume on Monday, with the home team on 15/0.
Van der Dussen top scored for the Proteas with an unbeaten 75, while the one partnership the tourists needed came when he and Kagiso Rabada, added 70 for the eighth wicket.
“We knew if we could get to (a lead of) 250, 280, we were going to be really happy with that and then KG came in and played quite brilliantly.”
Rabada made a career best 40, off only 48 balls, striking five fours and a six, underlining once more that he has a lot to offer South Africa with the bat at this level.
Van der Dussen credited the West Indies for not simply turning up on Sunday and “going through the motions,” but trying to find a way back into the match. “They bowled really well. The Dukes ball in these conditions, with the wind, it swings a lot ...maybe we played too many shots, and it went their way because of good bowling and excellent fielding, especially in the slips.”
Kemar Roach took four wickets, but Kyle Mayers again, showed that it wasn’t just the fast bowlers who could be successful, adding three more wickets to the three he took in South Africa’s first innings.
“With the extra pace you sometimes play and miss and the ball zips past the outside edge, whereas the guys operating at less than 135km/h, you can see the movement, and your hands naturally follow it, it’s just natural instinct.” Van der Dussen highlighted one member of the South African attack who could be just as damaging as Mayers on Monday. “Wiaan Mulder bowls at similar pace and we saw what he did at the back end on Saturday. I think going into (Monday), Wiaan might be effective again.”
Mulder picked up 3/1 to finish off the West Indies’s first innings.
But before he gets into the act, South Africa will be looking to their three main fast bowlers to cause the West Indies problems, although Van der Dussen said the Proteas were prepared to be patient.
“(KG’s innings) showed the pitch was getting a little bit placid, so there are lessons for us to take from that. If they do get a partnership or two going we will have to be really disciplined, sticking to lines and lengths and working for our wickets.”