Windies batsmen must do better, says Johnson

CENTURION, South Africa, CMC – Rookie left-hander Leon Johnson yesterday lamented the West Indies’ wastefulness, after their batsmen wasted good starts to be knocked over cheaply on the third day of the opening Test against South Africa.

 Left-hander Leon Johnson hooks during the third day’s play on Friday. (Photo courtesy WICB Media)
Left-hander Leon Johnson hooks during the third day’s play on Friday. (Photo courtesy WICB Media)

The top five batsmen all passed 20 but none managed to convert their innings into a major score as West Indies tumbled for 201 in their first innings, in reply to South Africa’s mammoth 552 for five declared.

Following on by 351 runs, the tourists battled to 76 for two at the close at SuperSport Park.

“It was frustrating because the first round batter got into the 30s but no one carried on but that’s just how it goes sometimes,” said the left-hander, who was among the offenders with 31 in an hour at the crease.

“I think come this innings we have got to set that right, we’ve got to get in and play very long innings.”

West Indies were given a good start by openers Devon Smith, who top-scored with 35, and Kraigg Brathwaite, who got 34, as they put on 71 for the first wicket.

They were both dismissed in the space of 13 balls with just one run added, but West Indies rallied to 162 for three before losing their last seven wickets for 39 runs.

Marlon Samuels chipped in with 33 while veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul got 21.

“It is difficult to put the finger on exactly what it is but if you bat a period of time and you get in and get yourself out, it’s probably a mental lapse somewhere along the line,” said Johnson, in only his second Test for West Indies.

“Smithy (Devon Smith) and Kraigg gave us a platform to launch from but unfortunate, as I said, the guys got in and then got out. It was very important they saw off the new ball as openers usually do, it’s just unfortunate we didn’t capitalise.”

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