PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (AP) – A 26-ball half-century from Dale Steyn carried South Africa to a declaration at 417-8 on the third afternoon of the second test against West Indies at St George’s Park on Sunday.
West Indies had claimed four wickets in the morning as the tourists enjoyed their best session of the series so far, but Steyn hammered 45 runs in 18 balls after lunch before his dismissal brought South Africa’s declaration.
Steyn hit 5 sixes and 6 fours in a 28-ball innings that was finally ended when he hit Sulieman Benn to long-on to depart for 58.
One of those sixes took him to his half-century in 26 deliveries – the joint fourth fastest in test history and the second fastest by a South African.
The blitz gave South Africa the quick runs it was looking for after just six overs were bowled on a rain-hit second day.
That frustration was raised when a wet outfield delayed the start of the third day by an hour, giving the hosts even more reason to take an aggressive approach.
However, South Africa found itself pegged back as wickets fell regularly, with overnight batsmen Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers dismissed in the fourth and fifth overs of the day.
While Amla was trapped lbw by Jason Holder for 33, De Villiers was bowled by Jerome Taylor for 10.
That brought newcomer Temba Bavuma together with fellow rookie Stiaan van Zyl, but the 21-run alliance lasted just 10 overs before Shannon Gabriel surprised Bavuma with a short ball and had him caught behind by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin for 10.
Van Zyl’s desire to move South Africa’s total along cost him his wicket when he chased a wide delivery from Kenroy Peters and edged through to Ramdin to depart for 29.