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Cricket news - Rassie van der Dussen helps SA set a big target for WI

Rassie van der Dussen's batting effort put SA back in the driver's seat after WI dominated early on

Rassie van der Dussen's batting effort put SA back in the driver's seat after WI dominated early on

Rassie van der Dussen's defiant, unbeaten 75 and a 70-run eighth-wicket stand with Kagiso Rabada took the sting out of West Indies' fine bowling exploits in the second session on Day 3, and helped set a steep target of 324 for the home side. West Indies began the day with a dreamy session, but let it all slip away in the second to end up having to climb a mountain. On a pitch that was still being a fast bowler's ally, West Indies saw out their first hurdle as they went to stumps without having lost a wicket.

Having remained indoors for the entirety of the morning session due to wet outfield, West Indies took the field with a renewed sense of confidence despite their batting ineptitude of Day 2 putting them in a position of disadvantage .

Kemar Roach gave them a reason to shrug off the pressure very early as he squared up Aiden Markram with a hint of away movement and got him to nick to Jason Holder at slips on just the third ball of the innings.

Roach then smartly planted seeds of doubt in Deal Elgar's mind. The South African captain, renowed for his abstinence against deliveries outside the offstump, ended up proding at one, falling for the inward angle created by the West Indian who bowled from round the stumps.

Keegan Petersen and Van der Dussen took it upon themselves to pull South Africa out of this early rabbit hole, and showed potential for success, until Kraigg Brathwaite's bowling change put a spanner in the works. Kyle Mayers had the rub of the green on his side as Petersen undid the little hard work he'd put in by choppng on what looked like an innocuous delivery that was short and wide of offstump. Mayers didn't crank up the pace but his lines were still probing enough for Kyle Verrynne to hang his bat out and nick it to Joshua da Silva behind the stumps, leaving the team on 52 for 4.

By the time players had to run off the field due to the return of rain, the visitors were down to 63 for 6. That would soon become 73 for 7 as West Indies came back from the Tea intermission with a similar vigour. But that fizzled out as Van der Dussen's search for a competent batting partner led him to a feisty Kagiso Rabada, who played a big role in slowly but surely dragging the game away from West Indies.

A straight six off Kemar Roach - West Indies' most threatening bowler on the day, was the sign of confidence that Rabada had found as his innings progressed, as he set himself up for a maiden half-century. Though Roach sullied those plans with change of pace, Rabada's 48-ball 40 and the stand with van der Dussen did a lot of damage to West Indies' hopes of forcing a series parity.

Roach dug in further, getting Nortje to nick one to the keeper but Lungi Ngidi batted out 20 balls and kept van der Dussen company for eight overs as he pushed the team's lead. It was brought to a halt at 324, when Ngidi stepped out to Kraigg Brathwaite's part-time spin and got stumped.

For four overs, Rabada and Ngidi proded and probed but in futility as Brathwaite and Kieran Powell played them out. The lightmeter was brought out, and after just one over of Keshav Maharaj's spin, the umpires called it a day to leave West Indies on 15 for 0, still in need of 309 runs to square out the series.

Brief scores: South Africa 298 & 174 (Rassie van der Dussen 75*; Kemar Roach 4-52, Kyle Mayers 3-24) lead West Indies 149 (Jermaine Blackwood 49, Shai Hope 43; Wiaan Mulder 1-3, Kagiso Rabada 2-24) & 15/0 by 308 runs