On Monday, South Africa spin specialist Keshav Maharaj scripted history by becoming the second Proteas player to take a hat-trick in Test cricket. He is the first in more than 60 years to get to this milestone.
The bowler’s magnificent spell took South Africa to a breezy 158-run win in the second Test in Saint Lucia with the tourists sealing the series 2-0. Keshav Maharaj concluded the match with seven wickets under his belt. Two in the first innings and a fifer in the second.
The only South African player to take a hat trick in Tests before Maharaj was Geoff Griffin, who achieved the feat in 1960 in a match against England at Lord’s.
Keshav Maharaj stole the show when he picked up the wicket of Joshua de Silva in the 37th over as he sent Kieron Powell (51) back to the pavilion. It was then followed by the dismissal of former captain and all-rounder Jason Holder (0), who was caught for a “nice, sharp catch” in Mark Boucher’s words. The teeth-biting moment passed away soon when the wicket of Joshua de Silva allowed the left-arm spinner to script history by taking his first and the second Test hat-trick by a Proteas.
However, it was not the best delivery that the left-arm spinner had hoped to get, since the ball didn’t get the turn he required. Yet it all worked out in the end when Joshua Da Silva tried to flick his delivery but ended up handing a catch to Wiaan Mulder in the leg slip.
“I probably could have bowled a much better ball than that, but full credit to Wiaan for plucking that catch,” Maharaj had to say on achieving the remarkable feat. “It was a superb reaction catch and whatever Wiaan wants to eat or drink tonight, it will probably be on me.”
“I didn’t know what to do (to celebrate), I thought about doing a slide but ended up stopping dead in my tracks. There was too much excitement and adrenaline in me,” he added.
Maharaj also bagged his seventh Test five-wicket haul as the visitors claimed their first Test series win away from home since 2017. It was also his third venture with the team on an overseas turf series win after his 6 for 40 in Wellington in 2017 against New Zealand.
SA vs WI final Test Brief scores:
South Africa 298 (Quinton de Kock 96; Dean Elgar 77; Kemar Roach 3-45; Kyle Mayers 3-28) & 174 (Rassie van der Dussen 75*; Kemar Roach 4-52, Kyle Mayers 3-24)
West Indies 149 (Jermaine Blackwood 49; Shai Hope 43; Wiaan Mulder 3-1) & 165 (Kieran Powell 51; Kagiso Rabada 3-44, Keshav Maharaj 5-36; Kagiso Rabada 3-44)
South Africa won by 158 runs
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