Shai Hope on Saturday lamented West Indies’ “average” effort with the bat, which he said had failed to do justice to the outstanding effort by the home side’s bowlers in limiting South Africa’s on day two of the second Test.
West Indies grabbed the last five Proteas wickets for 80 runs to dismiss the visitors for 298 at lunch but then produced a timid batting performance to be bowled out for 149 at the close at the Daren Sammy National Stadium on Saturday.
Jermaine Blackwood top-scored with 49 while Hope got 43 but they were the only two to pass 12 as seamers Wiaan Mulder (3-1), Kagiso Rabada (2-24) and Lungi Ngidi (2-27) wrecked the innings along with left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj (2-47).
“It was pretty average for us. You would want to be in a better position than this obviously,” Hope said afterwards.
“I think that we worked very hard yesterday (Friday) to limit them to that score overnight [of 218 for five], and to basically undo all that hard work with the bat, it’s the unfortunate position we’re in at the moment.”
He added: “We’ve been doing a lot of hard work leading up to the series so it’s just sad we didn’t get the big scores that we would want.
“Credit goes to Blackwood again for his innings today. He’s been putting in a lot of work as well behind the scenes and it’s unfortunate we didn’t have the partnerships to go a lot deeper with him and build a crucial score but that’s how it goes sometimes.”
Medium pacer Kyle Mayers (3-28) and seamer Kemar Roach (3-45) grabbed four of the last five wickets to fall, as West Indies made a strong start to the day.
Mayers claimed the key wicket of Quinton de Kock for 96 after the left-hander resumed on 59 – eighth out caught at gully by Hope after an edge rebounded from the ’keeper’s gloves.
Hope then found himself at the crease for the second ball of the innings after West Indies lost captain Kraigg Brathwaite to the first ball delivery.
And wickets fell steadily, leaving the best stand to be 43 runs for the fifth wicket between Hope and Blackwood.
“I must commend the bowlers for the job they’ve done. We worked really hard yesterday and it’s just nice to see that the bowlers could come and finish the job today but it just so happened that the batsmen didn’t do the job today,” said Hope.
“Having spent so much time in the field obviously you would want a bit of time [to put your feet] up, get a nice stretch, probably an ice bath if you can, but that’s just the way cricket goes sometimes – anyone can get out at any point in time.
“Hopefully we can turn things around tomorrow and get back into the game.”
Hope, in his first series after being dropped last year, said South Africa’s attack had been unrelenting.
“They are decent bowlers. I must give them credit,” the right-hander noted.
“Cricket is one of those games where whoever plays the best on the day will come out on top but they are quality bowlers and we need to make sure we can find a game plan to combat their skills and come out on top.
“I can see they work in tandem pretty well. The bowlers have clear plans when they’re bowling at you and as batsmen you have to make sure you’re switched on and focussed all the way through.”