South Africa inflicted a dispiriting series loss on West Indies at a venue that was once the home team's fortress and finished the bilateral tour unbeaten. Shivnarine Chanderpaul's hopes of compiling a competitive lead on the fourth morning were quashed by a menacing spell from Morne Morkel, who cut through the West Indies tail to ensure a quick end to their resistance.
Chanderpaul had stood firm amid West Indies' capitulation on the third day, and taken his team into the lead with support from Shane Shillingford, who was dismissed shortly before stumps. The men who followed, though, were unable to put up a fight.
Morkel attacked Sulieman Benn from round the wicket, getting the ball to move both ways and troubling the left-hander who played and missed often. He was ultimately done in by one that nipped back in sharply to break through his defences and send the off stump cartwheeling. Kemar Roach followed soon after, edging a drive to Mark Boucher after a series of short balls.
Chanderpaul had shown confidence in the tail, not hesitating to pick singles early in the over, but was left watching as his partners fell quickly. The debutant Brandon Bess poked a short-of-length delivery to slip, as Morkel polished off the tail in three overs, leaving South Africa just 47 to chase. Roach displayed plenty of aggression, nipping out three wickets, striking Graeme Smith on the neck with a bouncer, and even getting involved in an extended verbal exchange with Jacques Kallis. But the game was over and done with.
The West Indies captain Chris Gayle had called on his batsmen to shoulder more responsibility during his team's 5-0 debacle in the one-dayers. However, some of those who did play the Test series failed to fulfil to their role. Dale Richards, drafted in for this Test in place of Travis Dowlin, conceded his wicket cheaply in both innings, playing across the line to be trapped plumb, and spooning a catch off a needless pull.
More worrying would be the case of Narsingh Deonarine. He had looked solid in the first innings before, inexplicably, switching to an aggressive approach to be bowled. In the second, he played a reckless drive first ball to offer a catch to short cover. Equally irresponsible was the dismissal of Denesh Ramdin, the former vice-captain, who slashed a wide delivery to the keeper in the second innings.
Though South Africa's pace attack had far more venom, the battle in the spin department was more evenly contested with each of the four frontline spinners in this Test extracting assistance from a gradually deteriorating track. The move to pick a spinner, Johan Botha, in place of left-arm seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe, proved decisive for the visitors. And the seamers Dale Steyn and Morkel, on a pitch that was of lesser benefit to them than the slow bowlers, varied their lengths superbly, ruffling up the batsmen with the short deliveries and creating the temptation to play by pushing the odd one fuller.
But while South Africa, with more assuredness in their batting and a generally superior outfit, were favourites throughout, their task was made easier by the reckless approach adopted by their opponents.