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West Indies' 3 Test wins against South Africa

A historic first: West Indies close in on a win against South Africa
A historic first: West Indies close in on a win against South Africa
Divy Tripathi
ANALYST

West Indies were in their prime in the 1970s and '80s. They won two World Cups (1975, 1979) and didn't lose a series between 1980-1995.

South Africa had exceptional players in the same era such as Vincent Van Der Bijl, Barry Richards, and Peter Pollock. But the two star-studded teams could never lock horns due to the cricketing ban on South Africa.

By the time the Proteas returned to the international scene, the Windies were way past their prime.

As a result, the Test contests between the two sides were primarily one-sided, with South Africa ruling the roost. The pattern started in 1998 when West Indies toured South Africa with great expectations, only to be drubbed 5-0 in the Test series.

The Windies went from bad to worse in 2000s and are yet to win the Sir Vivian Richards Trophy contested between the two countries. Still, they have managed three Test victories over the South Africans.

Let's take a look at them.


#1 West Indies beat South Africa by 128 runs, St. George's Park, Port Elizabeth, 2007:

Champion strikes: Dwayne Bravo celebrates after picking a wicket against South Africa
Champion strikes: Dwayne Bravo celebrates after picking a wicket against South Africa

West Indies were in disarray in 2007 would be an understatement.

Their champion player, Brian Lara, had retired after a disappointing World Cup campaign at home. The Windies were then hammered 3-0 in the Test series by England.

They were now due to play the formidable South Africans.

Marlon Samuels in action against South Africa
Marlon Samuels in action against South Africa

Despite West Indies losing the tour game before the Test series by 10 wickets, they turned up when the situation demanded.

Individual performances by Chris Gayle (66), Marlon Samuels (94), and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (104) helped West Indies post 408 in their first innings.

West Indies pacers then ran through the South African batting line-up, restricting them to just 195.

Even as the Windies flattered to deceive in their second innings, South Africa were set a target of 389 runs. Fidel Edwards and Jerome Taylor then ensured that South Africa were restricted to 260, with the Windies winning the game by 128 runs.


#2 West Indies beat South Africa by 130 runs, Sabina Park, Kingston, 2001:

Final Glory: Courtney Walsh playing his final Test
Final Glory: Courtney Walsh playing his final Test

Going into the fifth Test, South Africa were already leading the series 2-0. West Indies decided to bat first and had Brian Lara's 81 to thank for reaching 225.

Courtney Walsh (3/31), Mervyn Dillon (4/32), and Cameron Cuffy (2/58) then bowled out South Africa for just 141. Although it was a massive first-innings lead, there had been previous instances in the series when West Indies had been ahead by a considerable margin before losing the Test.

A disappointed Brian Lara walks back after losing his wicket.
A disappointed Brian Lara walks back after losing his wicket.

But wicketkeeper-batsman Ridley Jacobs ensured that the fifth Test didn't suffer the same fate. His 85 off 191 balls got West Indies to 301. Walsh and Dillon then joined forces yet again to run through South Africa and hand West Indies a great win.


#3 West Indies beat South Africa by 52 runs, Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, 1992:

South Africa won the toss and put West Indies in to bat. Richard Snell (4/83) and Allan Donald (2/67) restricted the West Indies to 262.

The South Africans then took a 83-run lead, courtesy of Andrew Hudson's well-composed 163.

In their second innings, Jimmy Adams (79) and Brian Lara (64) ensured that West Indies had something to play for even as Donald and Snell returned to torment the home side.

However, in the fourth innings of the Test, the West Indies pacers wreaked havoc on the South African batters. Curtly Ambrose (6/34) and Courtney Walsh (4/31) shared all 10 wickets as South Africa were blown away.


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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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