Trinidad - South Africa overcame a record eighth-wicket partnership to seal a comprehensive 163-run victory over West Indies on the fourth day of the first Test at the Queen’s Park Oval at Port of Spain in Trinidad on Sunday.
The Proteas seemed to coasting to a win as they reduced the home side to 194 for seven before Sulieman Benn and Shane Shillingford put on 66 runs for the eight-wicket.
However, the stand only delayed the inevitable as fast bowler Dale Steyn finished with figures of three for 65 as the hosts were bowled out for 293 with just 10 minutes left in the day’s play.
Steyn ended with match figures of eight for 94 to claim the man of the match award.
Despite the defeat the late afternoon session belonged to the Windies as Benn and Shillingford tore into the bowling attack.
The duo eclipsed the previous best eighth-wicket stand for West Indies against South Africa of 65, set by Ridley Jacobs and Nixon McLean in Cape Town during the 1998/99 season.
Benn blasted his way to 42 off 55 balls before being trapped leg-before by the part-time off-spin of Alviro Petersen.
Shillingford weighed in with 27 off 39 balls before he skied a delivery from left-arm spinner Paul Harris to cover.
Harris ended with figures of two for 91 while speedster Morne Morkel chipped in with two for 49.
A half-century from Chris Gayle was the only highlight from the Windies’ top-order as the left-handed batsman brought up his 32nd Test fifty off 62 deliveries before he was dismissed after scoring 73 off 106 balls.
Gayle produced some attacking cricket during his stay at the crease as he struck nine fours and a six.
But he played almost a lone hand and he had scored more than half of his team’s runs when his dismissal left the Windies on 114 for four.
Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (15) put on 55 runs for the third wicket before Chanderpaul edged an off cutter from seamer Jacques Kallis to AB de Villiers at second slip.
Gayle was next to depart when he was trapped leg-before by Morkel with a delivery that speared into Gayle’s pads with Morkel bowling around the wicket.
Narsingh Deonarine (23) was out leg-before to Steyn before Dwayne Bravo showed some fight with 49 but he fell when he chipped a Harris delivery to short midwicket.
Denesh Ramdin then became left-arm swing bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe’s first Test wicket before Benn and Shillingford’s act of defiance.
Earlier, Graeme Smith fell 10 runs short of a century as the Proteas made hard work of scoring during the morning session.
South Africa scored just 31 runs, with no boundaries; in the first hour of play after beginning the day holding a 405-run lead over their opponents.
Smith eventually made his way to 90 off 172 deliveries with seven boundaries before he was bowled by left-arm spinner Benn whilst attempting a sweep shot.
Kallis was the first batsman to depart and he failed to add to his overnight score of 40 before being trapped leg-before by Benn.
On a pitch which offered up variable bounce Benn ended the innings with figures of three for 74 and match figures of eight for 194.
South Africa - Graeme Smith (capt), Alviro Petersen,
Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Ashwell Prince, Mark
Boucher (wk), Paul Harris, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
West Indies - Chris Gayle (capt), Travis Dowlin,
Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Brendan Nash, Narsingh Deonarine, Dwayne Bravo,
Denesh Ramdin (wk), Sulieman Benn, Shane Shillingford, Nelon Pascal,