SA in West Indies

Windies flay Proteas attack

2010-06-21 07:16
Tough day in the office (File)
St Kitts - The Proteas’ juggernaut that has roamed almost unchecked around the Caribbean for the past month finally ground to a halt at Warner Park, St. Kitts, on Sunday.

The third day of the second Test belonged almost exclusively to the West Indies as they ground out a total of 424/4 on the back of a 220-run fourth wicket partnership between two of their four top order left-handers, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Brendan Adams.

At the close the West Indies were only 119 runs in arrears and will fancy their chances of batting themselves into a first innings lead.

It was not without significance that this major partnership was built by the two most patient batsmen in the home side who were prepared to bide their time at first, then gradually built momentum and finally threatened to take the Proteas’ attack apart.

With the pitch providing very limited assistance it looked as though the Proteas would need something special to break through and that proved to be the case. Nash lost his focus for a moment after reaching the second century of his Test career and that was all that AB de Villiers needed to throw down the stumps from the gully position.

The 220-run partnership came in only 40 overs at nearly a run a ball and the Proteas were not able to stem the run flow significantly in a long final session of 47 overs that added 188 runs to the total.

Chanderpaul’s century was his 22nd for the West Indies. By the close he had moved past 150 (264 balls, 10 fours and 1 six) and is rapidly closing on the 9 000 career landmark.

At the close of the third day the combined bowling efforts of both sides had taken nine wickets in nine sessions of play (plus the De Villiers run out) while the batsmen on both sides had been responsible for five centuries.

Whether either side will be able to win from here is highly debatable but Sunday’s play did highlight that the Proteas place an unhealthy reliance on Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel for all their breakthroughs.

Spinner Paul Harris was unable to get the bounce that both the West Indies spinners had done earlier in the match and there was nothing much else on offer either for the spinners or seamers.

The best Proteas’ bowling partnership came immediately after lunch when Morkel and Jacques Kallis bowled in tandem. Morkel might have dismissed both Chanderpaul and Nash in one over, the former getting off balance in taking evasive action and lobbing up a catch to the vacant square leg area and Nash getting a thick edge between third slip and gully.

The over instead cost 10 runs and it was one of those days for the bowlers.

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