Johnson and Samuels keep West Indies’ hopes alive


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Leon Johnson and Marlon Samuels steadied the ship for West Indies on day three of their third Test with South Africa in Cape Town yesterday. After A B de Villiers hit a masterful 148 to give the hosts – who lead the three-Test series 1-0 – a 92-run first-innings lead, the  Windies looked in big trouble at 27 for 2.

They lost Kraigg Brathwaite for 16 and Devon Smith for seven, and South Africa would have fancied making further inroads before the close. But Johnson (37 not out) and Samuels (26no) put on 61 to reduce the deficit to four going into today’s fourth day, with their side 88 for 2. Resuming on 227 for 3, South Africa lost Hashim Amla 27 runs later, the captain no doubt disappointed to have not made more of his overnight 55. He got to 63 before edging Jason Holder behind.

West Indies had a real chance when the home side were on 288 for 5 but a 96-run stand between De Villiers and Stiaan van Zyl put the game back in South Africa’s control. Van Zyl fell for 33 but De Villiers ticked over to his 21st Test hundred, the landmark coming off 144 balls.

In Wellington, Kumar Sangakkara hit his 11th Test double century – one behind the record-holder Don Bradman – to give Sri Lanka a lead over New Zealand on first innings. Sangakkara, who earlier in the match became just the fifth batsman to pass 12,000 Test runs, made 203 off 306 balls.