SA in West Indies

Proteas on course for victory

2010-06-29 07:02
Johan Botha (AP)

Barbados - Dale Steyn and Johan Botha claimed three wickets apiece on Monday as South Africa closed in on victory against West Indies by stumps on day three of the third and final test at Kensington Oval.

South Africa were bowled out for 346, giving it a first-innings lead of 115, and then reduced the host to 134-7 in its second innings by close of play.

Paceman Steyn ripped apart the top order and finished with figures of 3-31, while offspinner Botha chipped away in the middle order to claim 3-34.

Veteran left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul forged the main resistance with an unbeaten 57, moving in the process into the top 10 of the leading test run-scorers, knocking former England opener Graham Gooch (8 900) off the list.

But he could do little to stop South Africa moving into a powerful position ahead of the fourth day's play, with West Indies holding a lead of just 19 runs.

The visitor has a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

South Africa stretched its overnight score of 285/6 in reply to West Indies modest first-innings total of 231. The Proteas were guided by Ashwell Prince, who top-scored with an unbeaten 78, while left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn boosted the home team with a career-best 6-81.

South Africa labored to ensure they built a healthy cushion, with Prince guiding the way in a morning session that saw his team score just 57 runs in 30 overs.

Prince and Mark Boucher stretched their seventh-wicket stand to 33 before the breakthrough came midway through the session via a run-out.

The pair nearly collided mid-pitch as they crossed for a run and Brandon Bess accurate throw from mid-on sent Boucher (17) on his way at 312/7.

Benn trapped Botha (9) lbw to clinch his third fifth-wicket haul and Steyn (4) then fell at 333/9 as pacer Kemar Roach produced a fine outswinger that clipped the batsman's off stump.

Steyn and Benn had earlier been involved in a heated verbal exchange and as Steyn was dismissed, there was more controversy when Steyn spat on the ground near Benn as he departed for the pavilion. Both players are likely to face sanctions from ICC Match Referee Jeff Crowe.

Benn claimed his sixth scalp, and his 50th in Tests, when Morne Morkel (9) edged to Dwayne Bravo at slip as South Africa was bowled out in the first over after lunch.

Prince, who faced 262 balls in just short of six hours, struck five boundaries. He had one slice of luck, when 59, as umpire Simon Taufel failed to see him glove a reverse sweep to slip off Benn. The West Indies was unable to ask for a TV review, having exhausted its two challenges on the second day.

The home teams second innings was quickly derailed by Steyn, the No 1-ranked bowler ripping through the top order with the wickets of Dale Richards (17), Narsingh Deonarine (0) and captain Chris Gayle (10).

Richards struck four fours before he tried to pull Steyn and skewed a cramped stroke to midwicket, where Alviro Petersen held a fine catch running back.

It was 27/2 following the very next delivery when Deonarine played an expansive drive and lofted to Prince at short cover.

Gayle, who became the ninth West Indian to reach 6 000 Test runs when he had scored three, followed a few overs later when he feathered an edge through to wicketkeeper Boucher.

Chanderpaul shared a stand of 34 with Brendan Nash that took West Indies to 70/3 at tea but there was another collapse after the break as Nash (12), Bravo (2) and Denesh Ramdin (1) fell within five runs of each other.

Nash prodded forward to Botha and edged to first slip, Bravo deflected a delivery onto his stumps off Paul Harris while Ramdin edged a cut to Boucher off Botha.

At 75/6, there was a chance South Africa could secure an innings defeat with two days to spare but Chanderpaul found an ally in Shane Shillingford, and the pair shared an assured stand of 53 for the seventh wicket.

Shillingford (25) departed just before the close when he was trapped lbw to a quicker ball from Botha, the tailender having resisted for 77 balls and 99 minutes, hitting two fours and a six.

Chanderpaul, who hit six fours off 156 balls in 211 minutes, survived to the close with Benn, who was 4 not out.


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