Captain Temba Bavuma smashed a career-best 172 and Gerald Coetzee and Simon Harmer shared three wickets each as South Africa completed a 284-run victory over West Indies for a clean sweep of the two-match series at The Wanderers on Saturday.
South Africa had set the tourists an improbable 391 for victory on day four but skittled them out for 106 in 35.1 overs as spinner Harmer took advantage of the turn on offer to record figures of 3-45 and Coetzee put in a fiery spell to finish with 3-37.
Joshua Da Silva was the innings top scorer for the West Indies with 34, but as has been the case all series they battled to keep out the home attack on wickets with pace and bounce.
“I think from the time we made the decision about the composition of the team (playing two spinners), we were hoping the conditions would end up playing this way and fortunately we got it right,” Bavuma said at the post-match presentation.
“The guys played their role. Simon, Kesh played really well. I’m very satisfied and glad I was able to contribute.”
The victory may have come at a cost for South Africa though, with spinner Keshav Maharaj stretchered off the field after he injured himself while exuberantly celebrating a wicket.
South Africa started day four on 287 for seven with Bavuma seeking to record a maiden test double-century having reached three figures for only the second time in his 56-match career.
But he added just one run to his overnight score before he was caught on the pull by Kemar Roach off the bowling of the excellent Jason Holder (3-48).
West Indies eventually dismissed the hosts for 321, one more than South Africa’s first innings score, but never looked likely to chase down the victory target themselves.
Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada (2-19), who has been troubled by a bad back in the last few days, picked up touring captain Kraigg Brathwaite (18) for the fourth time in as many innings, and the visitors were soon reeling on 34-6.
The major damage was done by Harmer and Maharaj (2-4) as they bamboozled the West Indies batsmen with some excellent guile on a wicket offering assistance.
They ripped through the middle order before Coetzee finished things off with three late wickets.
“The bowlers got 40 wickets in the series and that’s a good accomplishment,” Brathwaite said.
“Batting wise, we weren’t good enough. We didn’t score enough runs, as simple as that. They (South Africa) are a very good attack. Away from home we haven’t scored enough runs.”
The teams play a three-match One-Day International series starting in East London on Thursday, which will be followed by three Twenty20 International fixtures.