South Africa confident of victory over West Indies if weather plays nice

South Africa will be trying to make up for lost time when they take on the West Indies in the third and final Test at Newlands tomorrow.
South Africa captain Hashim Amla, centre, is confident his team can defeat the West Indies in the third and final Test as long as the weather is kinder than their previous encounter. Marco Longari/AFP Photo
South Africa captain Hashim Amla, centre, is confident his team can defeat the West Indies in the third and final Test as long as the weather is kinder than their previous encounter. Marco Longari/AFP Photo

South Africa will be trying to make up for lost time when they take on the West Indies in the third and final Test at Newlands tomorrow.

Although the West Indies put up an improved performance in the drawn second Test, South Africa captain Hashim Amla stopped short of acknowledging their credentials in his comments after the rain-hit match in Port Elizabeth.

Amla suggested that South Africa’s first innings total of 417 for eight could have been bigger had his team not been trying to force the pace after most of the second day’s play was washed out.

He also pointed out that the West Indian reply of 275 for nine was largely down to a third-wicket partnership of 176 between Kraigg Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels, who both hit centuries. The next highest West Indian score was 22 by Devon Smith.

According to Amla, the South Africa bowlers performed well on an unresponsive pitch in Port Elizabeth.

“I think on a different surface we may have picked up a lot more wickets a lot quicker. We did very well to take seven wickets in 35 overs [on Day 4], so we have a lot of positives to take into the next game,” he said.

Amla clearly felt that South Africa would have been favourites to win if the weather had not cut more than half the playing time from the second Test.

The South Africa bowlers can expect more pace, bounce and possibly seam movement at Newlands.

Meanwhile, the hosts, who lead the series 1-0 after an innings win in the first Test in Centurion, added uncapped off-spinner Simon Harmer to their squad for Newlands. “We would like to have the option of a second spinner,” selection convener Andrew Hudson said.

It would be unusual for South Africa to include two spin bowlers in the same team but Harmer, from the Eastern Cape Warriors franchise, is also a useful batsman

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Published: December 31, 2014 04:00 AM

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