South Africa v West Indies, 2nd Test, Durban, 4th day December 29, 2003

Sarwan and Chanderpaul salvage pride

Wisden Cricinfo staff

South Africa 658 for 9 dec (Kallis 177, Gibbs 142, Kirsten 137) beat West Indies 264 and 329 (Sarwan 114, Chanderpaul 109) by an innings and 65 runs

Andre Nel yorks Wavell Hinds with his fourth ball of the day
© Getty Images 2003

South Africa duly wrapped up the second Test at Durban by an innings and 65 runs, and so took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-Test series. But the day itself belonged to Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who salvaged a degree of pride for West Indies with a pair of battling centuries.

Sarwan, who was felled by a Makhaya Ntini bouncer when he had made 29, shook off the ill-effects to make 114, his third Test century. West Indies had been deep in the mire at 32 for 2 when he set about his rearguard, and he eventually found an ally in Chanderpaul, with whom he added 113 for the sixth wicket. It was not enough to carry the match into a fifth and final day, but it was something to cling to and carry forward into next week's Cape Town showdown.

West Indies had begun the day in a hopeless situation, still 376 runs away from asking South Africa to bat again. And it took just six overs for the first breakthrough of the day. With his fourth ball, Andre Nel produced a perfect yorker that zipped under Wavell Hinds's bat and into his stumps for 11 (31 for 1). And almost before the dust had settled, Shaun Pollock struck Daren Ganga on the back pad with a typically accurate wicket-to-wicket delivery (32 for 2).

That brought Brian Lara to the crease, in his 100th Test. He made 72 in the first innings, after the Windies had slumped to 17 for 4, and looked determined to produce something even more substantial, as he took his time to settle into his innings. Sarwan, by contrast, set off like a train, cracking six fours in his first 29 runs, including consecutive cover drives off Makhaya Ntini. But he was considerably shaken by his crack on the helmet, took the rest of the session to regain his momentum.

To make matters worse, Sarwan lost his partner. After inching to 11 from 70 balls, Lara couldn't resist taking on Andrew Hall, and spooned a simple catch to Neil McKenzie at square leg (78 for 3). Shortly afterwards, Jacques Kallis picked up his first wicket of the match as Carlton Baugh drove loosely to Ntini at mid-off, and West Indies were staring down the barrel.

Ridley Jacobs thumped two typically unorthodox boundaries in his 15, before skidding a low catch to Gary Kirsten in the covers off the legspinner Jacques Rudolph, and Rudolph might have had a second wicket, but Martin van Jaarsveld couldn't cling on at short leg when Chanderpaul had made 2.

Sarwan went to tea on 95 not out, and brought up his century in the first over after the break, as Rudolph was met halfway down the track and on-driven for four. Chanderpaul took a liking to Rudolph as well, hoisting him into the midwicket stands and driving him down the ground. But Ntini returned after the drinks break, and instantly made the breakthrough, as Sarwan underedged onto his stumps (243 for 6).

It was the cue for Chanderpaul to cut loose, and he had raced to 79, by the time Andre Nel grabbed two wickets in three balls to leave South Africa in sight of victory. Vasbert Drakes flinched a short ball to Rudolph at short leg, before Merv Dillon fished a comfortable catch to Herschelle Gibbs at third slip (271 for 8).

But Adam Sanford proved a resolute ally, although he was aided by a Gibbs dropped catch when Chanderpaul was on 92. The pair added 46 for the ninth wicket, with Chanderpaul reaching his ninth Test century with consecutive fours off Nel. With little reason to hold back, he then chanced his arm once too often and pulled Ntini to Neil McKenzie, who clung onto a fierce chance at square leg. Ntini completed the rout by having Fidel Edwards caught behind for 5, but thanks to Sarwan and Chanderpaul the margin of victory was less emphatic than had been feared.