PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (AP) ” Kraigg Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels scored centuries to avoid the follow-on before South Africa rattled through the West Indies on a rain-shortened fourth day of the second test on Monday.
Brathwaite scored 106 and Samuels made 101 at St. George’s Park but a brisk collapse reduced the West Indies to 275-9 in response to South Africa’s 417-8, when rain brought the day to a premature end.
Bad weather had also wiped out the morning session, meaning just 35 overs were bowled in the day, but South Africa’s outside chance of forcing a result in the match remained after they took five wickets for 15 runs in a five-over spell after tea.
Only the first day was not affected by rain, but better weather is forecast for Tuesday, when 98 overs are scheduled to be bowled.
“Things can happen very quickly,” said Morne Morkel, who took 4-69 in 20 overs. “If we can bat quickly and have enough overs to bowl, it’s never nice for a team to have to survive 50 to 60 overs.”
The home side’s hopes appeared to be disappearing during an afternoon of entertaining strokeplay that saw Brathwaite and Samuels extend their partnership for the third wicket to 176 ” a record for that wicket for West Indies against South Africa .
Twenty-two-year-old Brathwaite steadily built on his overnight score of 65 to record his third test hundred and his first overseas.
“He is a very strong person mentally, which is definitely showing in his game,” Samuels said. “They used to say he batted too slow but now he is scoring a little bit faster. It’s good to have an opening batsman who is showing determination.”
Brathwaite’s 106 came off 186 balls, with 12 boundaries.
Samuels came through a tough spell of short-pitched bowling from Morkel to reach his sixth century by hitting legspinner Imran Tahir, whom the batsman gave a torrid time throughout the afternoon, to the midwicket boundary.
Both batsmen then fell in the space of four deliveries, with Samuels trapped lbw by Vernon Philander and Brathwaite becoming Morkel’s third victim of the innings when he edged to second slip.
“As soon as conditions look tough for the bowlers, we look for one guy to put their hand up and knock the door down. I felt quite strong and quite good in my rhythm,” Morkel said.
The paceman was the only bowler to trouble the pair during the afternoon session, but Tahir roused himself after tea to pick up the wickets of Denesh Ramdin (20) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (7) in the same over.
After Morkel had Jason Holder caught behind for one, Sulieman Benn (4) edged Tahir’s googly to slip and then Kenroy Peters (0) was run out before the rain arrived, leaving Jerome Taylor as the not-out batsman on 10.
South Africa leads the three-match series 1-0 after winning the first test by an innings and 220 runs.