30 Dec 2014

Windies collapse leaves test in the balance

8:14 am on 30 December 2014

A spectacular collapse could mean a nervous finale for the West Indies after they finished on 275-9 on day four of the second cricket test against South Africa.

West Indies cricketer Denesh Ramdin trudges off the pitch.

West Indies cricketer Denesh Ramdin trudges off the pitch. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Kraigg Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels made first innings centuries but the tourists then lost seven wickets for 44 runs before the rain that washed out the morning session returned to stop play for the day.

Although a draw is still the most likely result, the collapse was another example of the batting frailties that have plagued West Indies on this tour.

They are still 142 behind South Africa's first innings total of 417-8 declared and could face a jittery final day if the home side score quickly.

Samuels reached his sixth test century before being trapped leg before wicket by the wily medium pace of Vernon Philander on 101.

He and Brathwaite shared a partnership of 176, a record for the third wicket for West Indies against South Africa.

Brathwaite struck his third test ton, and first outside of the Caribbean, but his stay was ended by the outstanding Morkel who had him caught by Alviro Petersen at second slip on 106.

The 22-year-old, who was dropped on 90 by Faf du Plessis, has now scored 701 runs at an average of almost 78 this year.

At that stage the West Indies were 233-4 but leg-spinner Imran Tahir, so ineffective earlier in the day, rallied with a five-over spell of three for 16.

Tahir trapped Denesh Ramdin leg before for 20 before claiming the big wicket of Shivnarine Chanderpaul who was bowled after a ball spun between the batsman's legs.

Jason Holder then got a feint edge off Morkel and was caught by wicketkeeper AB de Villiers for one.

Sulieman Benn's wild slash was then held at first slip by Petersen off Tahir who finished with figures of 3-108.

West Indian woes were compounded when Kenroy Peters was run out for a duck on his debut.

South Africa lead the three-match series 1-0.

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