Proteas

Mesmeric Maharaj's hat-trick seals SA's 158-run win and first away Test series success since 2017

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Proteas all-rounder Wiaan Mulder takes the catch to dismiss West Indies batter Joshua Da Silva to complete Keshav Maharaj's Test hat-trick on the fourth-day of the second Test in St Lucia.
Proteas all-rounder Wiaan Mulder takes the catch to dismiss West Indies batter Joshua Da Silva to complete Keshav Maharaj's Test hat-trick on the fourth-day of the second Test in St Lucia.
Randy Brooks/AFP

Keshav Maharaj's Test hat-trick was the bedrock of South Africa's 158-run win over the West Indies in the second Test in St Lucia.

Chasing 324, the West Indies were bowled out for 165 while Maharaj's sixth Test five-wicket haul and South Africa's first Test hat-trick since Geoff Griffin's effort against England at Lord's on 24 June 1960 accelerated the rare overseas Test series win.

The triumph meant South Africa recorded their first Test series win on the road since their 1-0 success against New Zealand in 2017, something that Maharaj also had a hand in.

Maharaj (5/36) prised out Kieran Powell (51), Jason Holder (0) and Joshua Da Silva (0) in consecutive balls of the 37th over.

Maharaj's magic, aided by some brainless West Indian batting, saw the hosts fall from 107/3 to 107/6.

Just 35 minutes before lunch, the West Indies were sitting pretty at 90/2 after a 64-run alliance between Powell and Kyle Mayers (34) for the third wicket had stabilised the innings after the customary shaky start.

Mayers though needlessly spooned a running catch to Dean Elgar when well set after receiving an early life.

He was trapped leg before first ball by Kagiso Rabada (3/44) but was reprieved because of a no ball.

If Rabada did not overstep in the 13th over, the West Indies would have been 26/3 and staring down the barrel with Roston Chase incapacitated by a quadriceps injury.

Rabada's faux pas in what was a faultless spell gave the West Indies a chance to put together a decent partnership.

Powell, an attractive but underachieving southpaw, scored a boundary-laden seventh test 50 that came off 108 balls.

Powell, who was a concussion substitute for Nkrumah Bonner in the first Test, clubbed nine fours, but hardly rotated the strike.

His boundaries did relieve pressure when it was built up and also gave the West Indies a handy position in their most disciplined batting display of the series.

In a fashion that's become unique to the West Indies, they threw it away in grand style in Maharaj's three-card trick.

Powell middled a slog sweep, only to pick out Anrich Nortje at deep midwicket. Holder nervously prodded to Keegan Petersen at forward short leg the following ball and the landmark was completed by Wiaan Mulder's superb catch at leg slip off Da Silva's tickled edge.

The West Indies's capitulation wasn't swift though as Jermaine Blackwood (25) and Kemar Roach (27) shared a 40-run, seventh-wicket stand that spanned for 101 balls before Blackwood edged Lungi Ngidi (1/29) to Quinton de Kock.

Roach then holed out to Ngidi off Maharaj at deep long-on and the game was done moments later when the Maharaj/Nortje combination got rid of Jayden Seales (7).

That the West Indies folded in the way they did wasn't a surprise considering the loss of their early wickets in the first 40 minutes of the extended morning session.

They didn't start well when captain Kraigg Brathwaite (6) edged Rabada to Elgar at first slip to leave them struggling at 16/1.

That became 26/2 when Shai Hope was pinned by a Rabada bouncer that wasn't initially given out but the decision was overturned on review. 

Having missed the Mayers wicket, the West Indian left-handers nullified Rabada's threat and inched closer to three figures.

The West Indies then batted serenely until Maharaj's mesmeric mayhem effectively settled the outcome of the Test 10 minutes before lunch. 

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