Rabada cameo lifts South Africa, leaves West Indies with tall order

By Sports Desk June 20, 2021

South Africa tightened their grip on the second Test against West Indies as Rassie van der Dussen and Kagiso Rabada forged an unlikely sturdy batting alliance to get the tourists out of trouble.

At 73-7 in their second innings, South Africa's lead was 222, and there was the prospect of West Indies possibly chasing a target under 250 to win the game and tie the two-match series.

But Van der Dussen and Rabada combined to add 70 for the eighth wicket, with tail-ender Rabada racing to a Test-best 40, including a six off Kemar Roach. South Africa made it to 174 all out, setting a victory target of 324.

Van der Dussen finished unbeaten on 75, while in the course of the innings former West Indies captain Jason Holder became just the 15th man in Test history to reach 50 catches, 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in a career. He joined that club with a spectacular catch at second slip to see off Keshav Maharaj.

West Indies' batting fragility had been exposed by South Africa on Saturday, the second day of the match, when they were bowled out for 149, exactly half of the tourists' first-innings 298 total. It meant the hosts were on the back foot heading into day three, but they had South Africa rattled as the Proteas top order offered desperately little resistance.

The morning session was wiped out due to rain in St Lucia, but when play began at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Roach was quick to make an impact, having openers Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar both caught cheaply at second slip by Jason Holder.

Keegan Petersen chopped Kyle Mayers' second ball of the innings into his stumps to fall for 18, and Kyle Verreynne, Quinton de Kock, Wiaan Mulder and Maharaj then contributed an aggregate 12 runs. 

Medium-pacer Mayers drew edges to get rid of Verreynne and Mulder and post figures of 3-19, before Van der Dussen and Rabada set about the rescue act.

They made batting look achievable, if not always easy, with Rabada the aggressor as he cracked five fours before lashing a ball of good length from Roach over long-on for six.

That saw him go past his Test-best of 34 not out, but his innings was soon over, Roach (4-52) taking his revenge as Rabada top-edged to Darren Bravo.

West Indies trundled to 15-0 in their second innings before fading light brought an end to play, still needing 309 more runs for victory.


Rabada revives flagging South Africa

Given West Indies' form with the bat in this short series, it was hard to imagine them successfully chasing anything above 200, but had they skittled their visitors for a double-figure total the energy behind such a performance might have inspired the home batsmen.

Rabada might not have fancied bowling at a team newly imbued with confidence, and he soon set about changing the complexion of the match, slapping away the ball to the boundary with gusto, particularly when he picked the moment to go deep off Roach.


Holder joins starry list

Holder became the latest man to reach the 50 catches, 1,000 runs and 100 wickets club, Cricinfo statistics showed.

The first to that all-round haul was England's Wilfred Rhodes, while the list includes the likes of luminaries Richie Benaud, Garfield Sobers, Ian Botham, Ben Stokes, Shane Warne, Anil Kumble and Jacques Kallis.

Related items

  • Intensity the key for Root in 'crucial' Ashes practice Intensity the key for Root in 'crucial' Ashes practice

    Joe Root believes that England's four-day warm-up game against England Lions in Brisbane provides his side with an opportunity to get ahead of Australia in their Ashes preparations.

    Jos Buttler, Mark Wood, Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan and Chris Woakes are finally available to participate again after 14 days in quarantine following their involvement in the T20 World Cup.

    Australia's preparations have hardly been smooth. Six players in their squad were involved in the T20 World Cup success in the United Arab Emirates, while Tim Paine resigned as captain due to a sexting scandal before subsequently taking an indefinite break from cricket, meaning he is out of the series.

    Pat Cummins, one of the players to lead Australia to glory in the shortest format earlier this month, has taken over as captain.

    While poor weather conditions cut England's initial three-day practice match short, Root is hoping a high-intensity meeting with the Lions will set the tone for the Test series, which begins in Brisbane on December 8.

    "There's a lot of people that will want to prove things, and will want to show that they deserve an opportunity for that first Test match," Root told reporters.

    "This is a really good chance for us to get ahead of things, maybe get ahead of Australia in terms of preparation and game-time ahead of the series, and it would be silly for us to just cosy our way through the four days.

    "It's been unusual. Having spent a period of time in quarantine and training within that quarantine phase, and then coming to Brisbane.

    "We haven't had that three-day game, as we would have liked, but it was always going to be the case that tomorrow was really the first day as a squad that we would get together, with those World Cup guys joining us.

    "So we always knew that this next phase was going to be the most crucial part, in terms of getting tight, getting clear and readying ourselves, and that's going to be the real test for us.

    "We want that intensity to be as high as we can, as close to the Test matches as we can, and I expect it to be very competitive," Root added.

    "The quality of the players will be there from both teams and, because of the lack of preparation that we've had in that previous three-day game, having that extra bit of flexibility to make sure we can get as many guys what they need throughout these four days is going to be crucial.

    "But whether you play those games in your mind a little bit more, visualise a little bit more, it's really important you find different ways of making sure that, when that first ball comes down at the Gabba, we're in the best place possible."

    England are looking to regain the urn after a drawn series in 2019 saw Australia retain the Ashes for the first time since 2002-03.

  • England managing director Giles calls for second chances to resolve racism crisis England managing director Giles calls for second chances to resolve racism crisis

    Managing director of the England men's cricket team Ashley Giles believes second chances are key to solving the racism crisis following Azeem Rafiq's allegations.

    Rafiq suffered racial harassment and bullying while at Yorkshire, which was eventually brought to light and taken in front of a parliamentary select committee on November 16.

    He also accused Yorkshire and England of being institutionally racist, while Michael Vaughan has been stood down from his BBC Radio 5 Live show and the BBC's upcoming Ashes coverage amid Rafiq's allegations.

    Vaughan, who allegedly said there were "too many of you lot" towards Asian Yorkshire players, has repeatedly strongly denied the allegations and recently apologised to Rafiq for the "hurt he has gone through".

    Former England spinner Giles, who played alongside Vaughan in the 2005 Ashes win, believes people must be offered a second chance and an opportunity to educate themselves for cricket to move forward.

    Asked specifically about Vaughan during a news conference, Giles responded: "I can't comment on what the BBC should do with one of their employees. But I think tolerance is really important.

    "We all do make mistakes and we will again. But we have to be able to tolerate, educate and rehabilitate otherwise people aren't going to open up and share their experiences and learn.

    "Does zero tolerance mean we shouldn't accept discrimination and racism? Absolutely. But not giving people second chances, I'm not sure that's a healthy way forward for us because it's certainly not going to bring people forward to either share their positive or negative experiences or even bring people forward to say, 'I just don't know – I don’t know how to react in this environment', or what to say.

    "We all know that this can be a bit of a minefield. Even the language we use around this area almost changes by the month. 

    "So for me we've got to educate more, we've got to call it out in the dressing room much more effectively if we see it because perhaps all of us in the past – and I'm not just talking about cricket – have let things go. 

    "We've got to be prepared to call them out and by that I don't mean we kick chairs and tables over and start a fight. 

    "We just make it very clear that those sorts of behaviours aren't right in our dressing rooms or environments and actually in all workplaces because, although cricket has an opportunity to do something very strong, I don't believe for one minute these same issues don't exist in society. 

    "So I think it’s a collective responsibility for all of us to do something about this."

    Joe Root's England side are already well into their preparations for the first Ashes Test in Australia on December 8 at the Gabba.

    While aware of the boisterous crowds and lively occasions an Ashes Test can be, Giles insisted he has given his backing for Root to remove his players from the field should his team-mates be abused based on their nationality or race.

    "We know crowds can be lively here – I've experienced that myself as a player," he added as he spoke from Australia.

    "But I'd certainly trust Joe Root to do what is right on the field. If he chose to bring the team into the middle of the field and stop the game while that was investigated, then absolutely. 

    "I don't think any of our players should be subject to any abuse actually but discrimination and racism particularly."

  • Michael Vaughan: I'm sorry for the hurt Azeem Rafiq has gone through Michael Vaughan: I'm sorry for the hurt Azeem Rafiq has gone through

    Michael Vaughan has apologised "for the hurt Azeem Rafiq has gone through" amid his former Yorkshire team-mate's allegations of racism. 

    Former England captain Vaughan was this month named in a report investigating Rafiq's claims of institutional racism at the county club.

    The 47-year-old, who played for Yorkshire from 1993 to 2009 and led England to Ashes glory in 2005, allegedly said to a group of Asian team-mates there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

    Rafiq's version of events have been supported by Adil Rashid and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan.

    Vaughan, who was stood down from the BBC's coverage of the Ashes in wake of the allegations, has again denied the accusations made against him.

    "I'm sorry for the hurt [Rafiq's] gone through," he told the BBC. "Time, I don't think, can ever be a healer in the situation that he's gone through.

    "But hopefully time can be a way of us making sure that Yorkshire County Cricket Club never goes through this situation again and never puts themselves in a position of denial that they treated a player so badly."

    He added: "It hurts deeply, hurts me that a player has gone through so much and be treated so badly at the club I love.

    "I have to take some responsibility for that because I played for Yorkshire County Cricket Club for 18 years and if in any way shape or form I'm responsible for any of his hurt, I apologise for that."

    Asked if he made any racist comments during his time at Yorkshire, Vaughan said: "No I didn't. No."

    However, Vaughan, whose playing career spanned 18 years and saw him represent England for a decade, accepts there were many things he heard in dressing rooms that he "would not even consider to be acceptable now".

    He added: "I would say any sportsperson that's out there from that era that says otherwise, I don't think they're telling the truth. There were things said and back in the day, it wasn't deemed to be offensive. It would be now.

    "I can apologise if I was involved in any way, shape or form with a dressing room that had a culture that wasn't inclusive for everyone.

    "My recollections are all the dressing rooms that I played in that we were inclusive to everyone. But I'm more than happy for people to come forward and say, 'you know what that wasn't the case'."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.