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Harmer, Steyn check West Indies progress

Debutant offspinner takes three wickets as visiting side ends first day of third Test at 276 for 6

Harmer, Steyn check West Indies progress - Cricket News
Dale Steyn now has 391 victims in Tests, putting him second on the list of all-time wicket-takers for South Africa.
The West Indies batsmen got starts but South Africa’s bowlers struck at regular intervals as both teams battled hard with honours even on the first day of the third Test in Cape Town on Friday (January 2).
At stumps, West Indies was 276 for 6 in 90 overs, with Jermaine Blackwood on 45 and Jason Holder on 5. Half-centuries from Denesh Ramdin (53), Leon Johnson (54) and contributions from Devon Smith (47) and Marlon Samuels (43) kept West Indies going, but Simon Harmer (3 for 67), the debutant offspinner, and Dale Steyn (2 for 59) kept things in check.
Steyn took the final wicket of the day to fall, catching Ramdin off his own bowling in the 86th over to end a 94-run stand. That made it 391 victims in Test cricket for Steyn, putting him second on the list of all-time wicket-takers for South Africa, with Shaun Pollock (421) ahead of him and Makhaya Ntini (390) behind in third place. 
It was a see-saw battle for most of the day as both sides battled hard for the early advantage. West Indies lost Kraigg Brathwaite for 7 to Steyn, but Smith, Johnson and Samuels helped the visiting side make steady progress with vital partnerships. Five of the top seven batsmen went past 40, but were unable to convert into a bigger knock. There were three partnerships in excess of 50, but the highest among them was the 94 runs Ramdin and Blackwood added for the sixth wicket.

West Indies made a good start as Smith and Johnson held off a fiery South African pace battery to add 50 runs for the second wicket. Just when it seemed like it would justify Ramdin’s decision to bat first, Harmer, on debut, dismissed Smith off the last ball of the first session to pull things back for South Africa.
The dismissal, however, did not stop West Indies from scoring at a healthy clip. Samuels and Johnson maintained a run-rate of over four per over, and in the process, Johnson crossed his second Test half-century. The third-wicket partnership crossed 50, but Harmer struck once again, trapping Johnson in front of the stumps. Samuels played some crisp strokes during his stay but drove a wide delivery off Stiaan van Zyl, the part-time medium-pacer, straight to Faf du Plessis, with minutes to go for tea. 
When Chanderpaul was stumped off Harmer for a 48-ball 9 the first ball post tea, West Indies was in a spot of bother. Ramdin and Blackwood, however, batted steadily to ensure the home side didn’t run away with the game. Ramdin played some deft shots off the backfoot against the pacers, and used the sweep to good effect against Harmer, collecting runs on either side of the wicket. Blackwood survived a chance on 13 when AB de Villiers dropped a catch off Harmer's offspin, but was otherwise solid and patient. 
The pair took West Indies past 250, but as was the case in the first two sessions, South Africa struck late to pull things back. Steyn, in the midst of a fiery spell, got Ramdin to lob the second new ball back to him in the 86th over, ending the West Indies captain's resistance.

To follow live updates of the third Test test between South Africa and West Indies in Cape Town, click here

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