SPO_230309 WEST INDIES1-1678384782589
West Indies' Jason Holder plays a frontfoot defence during his entertaining knock against South Africa. Image Credit: AFP

Johannesburg: Former captain Jason Holder lifted a struggling West Indies and frustrated South Africa with an innings of 81 not out on the second day of the second Test at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Thanks largely to Holder, the West Indies scored 251 in their first innings. They trailed by 69 runs but it looked likely to be much worse before Holder played a sparkling innings.

South Africa faced three overs at the end of the day, scoring four runs without loss to take their overall lead to 73 runs.

Command from the start

Whereas none of his teammates could score freely — and none managed more than Kyle Mayers’ battling 29 off 83 balls — the tall Holder looked in command from the start of his innings.

Batting at No 8, he went in with the West Indies in big trouble at 116 for six in reply to South Africa’s 320 all out.

Holder and Joshua Da Silva (26) started the recovery by putting on 41 for the seventh wicket.

The comeback accelerated as the last two batsmen, Kemar Roach (13) and Gudakesh Motie (17) helped Holder add 89 runs for the last two wickets.

Disciplined attack

The 10th-wicket partnership of 58 with Motie was the highest of the innings. Holder hit four sixes and eight fours in a 117-ball innings.

Until Holder started playing his strokes, none of the West Indies batsmen were able to break the shackles of a disciplined South African bowling attack.

Gerald Coetzee, playing in his second Test, took three for 41 and fellow fast bowler Kagiso Rabada took two for 19. Rabada only sent down 12 overs and did not bowl after tea.

SPO_230309 WEST INDIES-1678384780662
South Africa's Tony de Zorzi celebrates with teammates after the fall of a West Indian wicket on Thursday. Image Credit: AFP

Assisting spin

On a pitch expected to take spin later in the match, spinners Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj bowled a combined 38.3 overs but could only take three wickets while conceding 140 runs.

The day started well for the West Indies when they claimed South Africa’s remaining three wickets in the first three overs of the day.

But the West Indies innings started badly when Tagenarine Chanderpaul was run out for one by a direct hit from cover by South African captain Temba Bavuma.

The tourists slumped to 51 for four before Roston Chase (28) and Mayers put on a patient 52 for the fifth wicket.