West Indies' Jason Holder leads fightback against South Africa

West Indies' Jason Holder leads fightback against South Africa

West Indies captain Jason Holder led his team's fightback against South Africa on day two of the Wanderers test match.

On the second day of the second Betway test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Thursday, West Indies' captain Jason Holder played an instrumental role in leading his team's fightback against South Africa.

Holder's unbeaten 81, his 12th test 50 and his highest score against South Africa, helped the West Indies to reach 251 all out, a deficit of 69.

The West Indies looked dejected when their eighth wicket fell on 162, 158 runs behind, but received a welcome late boost from Holder who collaborated with Kemar Roach and Gudakesh Motie to add a further 89 runs to frustrate the South Africans.

In fact, Holder's 10th wicket partnership of 58 in 83 balls with Motie was the highest of the innings, with the left-handed Motie looking very comfortable until he played an ambitious pull off Simon Harmer to top-edge a catch to Temba Bavuma at cover.

Batting at No 8, Holder struck eight fours and four sixes in his 117-ball innings that began cautiously but grew increasingly aggressive as the wickets fell. Holder was particularly hard on the South African spinners, Keshav Maharaj and Harmer, who went for a combined 140 runs on an excellent pitch for batting. It was easily the best pitch of the series, producing little turn but providing bounce.

The ease with which Holder and Motie batted was a poor reflection on the West Indies' top-order batters after their bowlers had done well at the start of the day to finish off the final three South African first-innings wickets for nine runs in just three overs.

Looking for a rare solid start, the West Indies shot themselves in the foot almost immediately when Tagenarine Chanderpaul was run out when skipper Kraigg Brathwaite called for a quick single. The left-hander was slow to respond and Temba Bavuma dashed in from cover and brilliantly threw down the wicket.

Brathwaite was then undone by extra bounce from his nemesis, Kagiso Rabada, who has now dismissed him six times in tests, edging a low catch to Dean Elgar at first slip. Then it was the turn of Gerald Coetzee. First he had Raymon Reifer caught bat-pad at short-leg by Tony de Zorzi - another sharp effort from him - before finding the edge of Jermaine Blackwood's bat shortly afterwards.

That made it 73 for four at lunch, but thereafter the West Indies stiffened their sinews and began to fight back. The afternoon session didn't produce many runs but only two further wickets fell - Roston Chase and Kyle Mayers.

Joshua da Silva batted with some grit after tea which the West Indies had taken at 143 for six before Harmer produced the ball of the day, beating the wicketkeeper in flight before turning the ball through the gate to clip the off-stump - a classic off-spinner's dismissal.

South Africa's openers, Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram, were faced with an awkward three overs against Kemar Roach and Alzarri Joseph before the close which they negotiated safely on four without loss, with the home team taking an overall lead of 73 into the third day with all their second-innings wickets intact.

Coetzee was the Proteas' most successful bowler with 3-41, but once again, Rabada was the class act with 2-19 in 12 overs. There were concerns when the champion fast bowler left the field after tea with what appeared to be a niggle, but he returned to field soon afterward.