Proteas

Van der Dussen backs Mulder to be effective once more as Proteas chase victory

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Wiaan Mulder had a decent day with the ball (AFP)
Wiaan Mulder had a decent day with the ball (AFP)
  • Proteas batsman Rassie van der Dussen expects Wiaan Mulder to play a critical role with the ball in the West Indies' second innings in the second Test in St Lucia.
  • Mulder's three late wickets in the first innings helped dismantle the West Indies lower-order and gained the 149-run lead.
  • Van der Dussen didn't want to rate his 75 not out until the game has concluded positively for South Africa.

Proteas batsman Rassie van der Dussen expects young all-rounder Wiaan Mulder to come into his own with the ball in the West Indies' second innings of the second Test in St Lucia on Monday.

SCORECARD | West Indies v Proteas - 2nd Test

Van der Dussen's assertion was based on how Kyle Mayers's medium-pace carved up South Africa's middle-order in the same way Mulder dismembered the West Indies' lower order on the second day.

In response to South Africa's 298, the West Indies were reasonably placed at 143/6. Mulder plucked the three scalps of Joshua Da Silva, Kemar Roach and Jayden Seales to reduce the hosts to 145/9, a course of action that went a long way in securing SA a 149-run advantage.

Mayers then picked the perfect time to detonate the Proteas middle-order when he removed Keegan Petersen, Kyle Verreynne and Mulder.

Along with Jason Holder taking the key wicket of Quinton de Kock for a two-ball duck, the Proteas were 54/6 and in danger of squandering their lead.

Van der Dussen and Kagiso Rabada (40) ensured that didn't happen.

"With his type of pace, he's a lot like Wiaan Mulder on the second evening. With the extra pace, you sometimes play and miss, while it zips past the outside edge," Van der Dussen said of Mayers.

"With the guys who aren't quick, it's almost like you can see the movement and your hands follow it. It's just a natural movement.

"Going into the fourth day, Wiaan might be effective again in the same way Mayers was effective for the West Indies."

Van der Dussen said his partnership with Rabada also gave them lessons on how to defend their target on a pitch he felt was getting easier to bat on.

"The conditions at St Lucia are as such that if you hang around, you need to get into strong positions and capitalise on scoring opportunities," he said. 

"54/6 wasn't a great position, but at the same time, we were 200 ahead and we're already asking them to get their biggest score of the series... by getting to around 250/280... but KG came and played brilliantly.

"That showed the pitch was a bit more placid and we'll take the lessons from there. If they have a partnership or two, we'll need to be very disciplined and work for our wickets."

Van der Dussen recorded his sixth Test fifty, but a maiden ton remains elusive. That's the least of his concerns, nor is the quality of his knock if they don't win the Test.

"I'd say it's a good innings and with KG, we put the team into a strong position to win a Test match and that's what it's all about," Van der Dussen said.

"If we get the win, the innings may look better retrospectively, but for now, it's a decent innings on a tricky pitch.

"I was glad that I arrested a bit of the power they had during the game and applied pressure on them."

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