Golden Test reaching a crescendo

Colin Croft

March 21, 2001

Text size: A | A

Jacques Kallis, the South African all-rounder, who has had a poor run of luck with the bat in this Second Test match, snared West Indian opener Wavell Hinds, LBW late on the fourth day to leave this "Golden Test Match" tantalizingly poised.

It could have been much worse for the West Indies since Chris Gayle, the other opener, was badly dropped by the normally reliable Daryll Cullinan, at slip, after Gayle had made 17.

Had that catch been taken, the West Indies would have been on the ropes, taking punches. Gayle survived, and has played some crisp strokes so far to be 18 not out, while night-watchman Dininath Ramnarine has 11 not out, driving as if he was the real number three batsman. Ambition makes all sorts of things happen.

Despite his 17-odd years of playing Test cricket Courtney Walsh still found something new to achieve and probably put his team in a winning position, finishing with the magnificent figures of 6-61 from 37.4 overs. Could this guy ever stop playing? It seems entirely possible that he could reach 600 Test wickets.

His most recent achievement - this is the first time in his long and illustrious career that he has gotten a five-wicket haul at the Queens Park Oval - gives him a chance to see his name on the newly opened honour roll of bowlers who have taken five wickets at the ground.

With the Golden Test match building to a crescendo, this game has been a personal triumph Courtney Andrew Walsh.

South Africa probably won the first session, adding 65 runs, while losing only one wicket, that of Cullinan for a patient 73. South Africa were slow, but painfully careful.

The West Indies took the second new ball in mid-afternoon and put paid to any plans South Africa would have had after being 250-5 at one stage.

A battling third wicket partnership of 149 between Herschelle Gibbs, who anchored his team's second effort by batting nearly six hours for his 87 and Cullinan, who had worked hard, had put South Africa in a position to push the point.

Five South African wickets were taken from 17.4 overs with the second new ball and only 37 were scored as Carl Hooper and his troops, especially the persevering Walsh and the much-improved Merv Dillon, out-manoeuvred the South African batsmen.

In the end, the visitors were restricted to adding only 153 in 77.4 accurate overs for their part of the day as the West Indies took control.

The West Indies now need exactly 200 with nine wickets in hand and at least 90 overs in the last day to make them in. There is no problem about time, so it all comes down to who wants it more.

One thing is certain. If one has a bad heart or cannot take much excitement, the recommendation is that one should not attend, look or even listen to the coverage of the final day of this stunning Test match. What a treat the fifth day promises.

RSS Feeds: Colin Croft

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Colin CroftClose
Tour Results
West Indies v South Africa at Kingstown - May 16, 2001
West Indies won by 6 wickets (with 34 balls remaining)
West Indies v South Africa at Port of Spain - May 12, 2001
South Africa won by 53 runs
West Indies v South Africa at Bridgetown - May 9, 2001
South Africa won by 7 wickets (with 50 balls remaining)
West Indies v South Africa at St George's - May 6, 2001
South Africa won by 8 wickets (with 23 balls remaining)
West Indies v South Africa at St George's - May 5, 2001
South Africa won by 132 runs
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days