Interim West Indies head coach Andre Coley has rued two missed opportunities on day three which contributed to his side’s heavy defeat in the second Test at the Wanderers on Saturday.
The Jamaican, on his second tour of the men’s senior side, said had they “dropped the hammer” on those occasions, West Indies would not have found themselves facing the daunting target of 391, and suffering the eventual 284-run crushing.
“When I reflect on [day three], two key moments come to mind. I think around lunch time at 69 for four was a key moment where we potentially could’ve dropped the hammer to get another wicket,” Coley pointed out.
“And then tea time, around 145 for five, that was also another crucial period where if we had gotten another wicket or so, would’ve limited whatever total we needed to chase. So those two moments spring to mind.”
He continued: “Discipline is always important in every game regardless of the skill that you have. Taking into consideration the game situation, you could be in front but find yourself behind very quickly.
“I thought [Temba] Bavuma played really well. We gave him an opportunity and we seized that. Coming off the back of lunch and four down, we potentially could’ve started with Alzarri [Joseph] – our fastest bowler – who’s been pretty on song and have good results against Bavuma [before] in the series.
“Not taking anything away from him, I thought he played well in that period to wrestle the game from us and gain some advantage but generally it’s about maintaining discipline and looking at the right combinations at the right time.”
Behind by 69 runs on the first innings, West Indies were on top early on the third day after medium-pacer Kyle Mayers struck two telling blows to reduce South Africa to 32 for three in their second innings.
Bavuma, however, in his first series as captain, slammed a career-best 172, while adding 103 for the sixth wicket with Wiaan Mulder who made 42, to turn the tables on West Indies.
Set an imposing total on a penultimate day, West Indies then slumped to 34 for six at lunch before being dismissed for 106, an hour after the resumption.
“Whatever we did well, we needed to do it a lot longer,” lamented Coley.
“There were periods in both Test matches where we had significant partnerships or partnerships that were trending towards a significant partnership … and then there was a key moment, let’s say a key bowler came on and broke that partnership which then exposed someone else.
“So from that standpoint, we were not able to have significant batting partnerships – at least one or two in both Test matches that would’ve allowed us to score at least 300 in one innings.
“That, I believe, would’ve made a difference.”
West Indies lost the opening Test at Centurion by 87 runs after also suffering a second innings collapse, in pursuit of 247 for victory.
Only two batsmen – vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood (126) and marquee all-rounder Jason Holder (116) – managed an aggregate of above 100 runs for West Indies in the two-Test series.