THE Proteas were hoping to bat once in the third and final Test against the West Indies at Bridgetown in Barbados.
The visitors were looking to overhaul a modest West Indies first innings total of 231 after off-spinner Johan Botha had taken career best figures of 4-56 (19.5 overs) in his third Test match to help skittle the hosts on the opening day of the Test at the Kensington Oval on Saturday.
But first the first task yesterday was to consolidate the run chase after South Africa lost both Alviro Petersen and Hashim Amla to loose shots late on day one (the one caught at midwicket on the pull and the other at point on the cut) but nevertheless could feel satisfied with their day.
The Proteas were set to resume play yesterday on 46-2 with an overall deficit of 185.
Botha had provided the answer to the problems the Proteas have had with the West Indies' left-handed top order.
The off-spinner, brought into the side at the expense of Lonwabo Tsotsobe in a horses for courses selection, bowled the key spell of the first day in the hour after lunch to dismiss the left-handed trio of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Brendan Nash (both centurions at St Kitts) and Narsingh Deonarine. Speedster Dale Steyn chipped in with 3-37 in 13 overs and all-rounder Jaques Kallis bowled with aggression and pace, bagging two wickets.
There is already some turn to be had and, unlike at St Kitts, the footmarks caused surface abrasions from the very first over. The spinners will clearly become dominant as the match progresses so the Proteas will want to bat once only and to make a big score. By doing so they will nullify the advantage the West Indies gained through winning the toss. - Sapa