Jun 20, 2010 Sports
Gayle (42), Deonarine (33) lead WI recovery
By Sean Devers
Second day centuries from AB deVilliers (135*) and Jacques Kallis (110) followed up the 132 from Skipper Graeme Smith on the opening day as South Africa finished day two of the 2nd Digicel Test against West Indies at Warner Park in St Kitts yesterday in a commanding position.
The visitors declared 5 overs after tea at 543-6 from their overnight 296-3 as Kallis, who passed 11,000 Test runs when he reached 91, and deVilliers, dominated an innocuous bowling attack in overcast conditions.
The declaration came with South Africa 45 runs short of their highest ever Test score in the West Indies (588-6 declared in Antigua in 2005). Dominican off-spinner Shane Shillingford had 3-95 from 52 overs in just his 2nd Test.
Travis Dowlin (10) again looked out of his league and edged Morne Morkel to slip in the 4th over. And at 13-1 the hosts were off to another disastrous start on a perfect batting track. Narsingh Deonarine (30*), replacing Brendon Nash at the number three position, joined Skipper Chris Gayle (42*) to revive the position with an unfinished 73-run partnership as their team reached 86-1 when bad light stopped play with West Indies still 257 runs away from avoiding the follow-on.
When play resumed 15 minutes late due to overnight rain the South Africans continued from where they left off on Friday and the dominant Kallis and deVilliers extended their 4th wicket partnership to 115 by lunch with convincing stroke-play on the docile surface.
Kallis majestically on-drove Dwayne Bravo for four before deVilliers brutally pulled Ravi Rampaul to the mid-wicket fence and followed it up with a breathtaking cover-driven boundary in the next over as the impotent West Indies seam bowling failed to make an impression in the first session.
Shillingford was introduced just before lunch and deVilliers welcomed him by dancing down the track and dumping him for a huge six as the visitors, not beaten by the West Indies in a Test series in 18 years, enjoyed themselves on the small ground.
A reverse sweep past Bravo at slip by Kallis in the same over carried the powerfully built right-hander to 95 as South Africa scored at over 5 per over in the first session yesterday.
deVilliers flicked Bravo elegantly to the square-leg boundary and then chipped down the track to hit Shillingford over his head for four to move to 49 in the penultimate over before lunch.
By Lunch South Africa were 398-3 after scoring 102 runs in the session. Kallis was on 99 and deVilliers on 49 and the visitors were large and in charge in the West Indies backyard.
With many in St Kitts opting to stay at home and watch the World Cup Football on TV, another handful of fans watched as deVilliers smashed Suleiman Benn for four for his 23 fifty and his team’s 400, in the 2nd over after lunch and celebrated with a six in the same over.
Kallis registered his 35th Test ton with consecutive fours off Benn. His century came from 218 balls with 11 fours and a six. With a Test average of almost 55 from 139 matches and 263 wickets, Kallis is arguable the World’s best all-rounder ever after Sir Gary Sobers and even at 34 his batting remains of the highest order.
Shillingford broke the 138-run stand when Rampaul held a good catch at square-leg as Kallis top-edged a sweep to leave the score on 421-4.
Ashwell Prince joined deVilliers and imperiously lofted Shillingford for six before he hit a short ball from Benn to mid-wicket at 442-5. deVilliers swept Benn for four and lofted him over long-on for six off successive balls to post his 10th hundred and the 3rd in the innings. His century came from 130 balls and was decorated with 13 fours and 3 sixes. After a ‘comfort break’ by deVilliers, Boucher (17) was run out at 490-6. Dale Steyn and deVilliers took the score to 500 with consecutives sixes off Shillingford by deVilliers and by tea the tourists were 516-6. The declaration came shortly after.
With the Regional team struggling with the bat, the baffling decision by the Clyde Butts led panel to again ignore 21-year-old Daren Bravo and ask Dowlin to open, again backfired. Dowlin does not even open the batting for Guyana and the selectors, who continue to reward mediocrity, must also take blame for the pathetic showing by the Regional team.
Gayle counter-attacked and Deonarine played the supporting role as the partnership, which was interrupted by a short stoppage for bad light, progressed nicely by the close of play.
Dowlin wasted a batting paradise with another failure but the resistance of Gayle and Deonarine raises hopes of West Indies batting long enough to save this match on a track on which even Steyn and Morkel could struggle.
More rain is forecast for today and what transpires in the first session this morning could influence the result of the 3-match series.
Scores: West Indies 86 for 1 (Gayle 42*, Deonarine 33*) trail South Africa 543 for 6 dec (Smith 132, Kallis 110, de Villiers 135*) by 457 runs.
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