October 29, 2000

Ngam shows his class against WP

Telford Vice - MWP

Western Province take a lead of 198 into the final day against Eastern Province in Port Elizabeth on Monday.

At stumps on Sunday, Province were dwindling on 118 for six. Graeme Smith is 44 not out with Alan Dawson on five, and it would seem the visitors' hopes of saving the match would depend on the continued survival of the seventh-wicket pair.

EP resumed their first innings on 256 for seven, and were dismissed 40 minutes into the day for 282 in reply to Province's 362. Rain delayed the start of play for more than two hours and ultimately lopped 40 overs off the day's quota.

Dave Callaghan, who held the innings together with a Trojan 129 that was more than five hours in the making, came off 270 balls and included 18 fours and two sixes, was first to go when he was bowled by Dawson.

Province began their second innings poorly when Herschelle Gibbs was caught behind off Mfuneko Ngam in the fourth over.

They never recovered from the setback, and Ngam took full advantage by also claiming cheaply the quality wickets of first-innings centurion HD Ackerman and Neil Johnson to end the day with three for 32.

With Province going into their second innings 80 runs to the good on a sound pitch, the only real bowling option open to EP captain James Bryant was to keep it tight.

It was soon apparent that Nantie Hayward, who had one of his lesser days, was not going to be a significant factor in the equation.

However, Ngam took the opportunity to further polish his already gleaming promise. Bryant also handed Robin Peterson a fair chunk of responsibility, and he was not disappointed as the left-arm spinner returned one for 22 off 16 overs. Callaghan and Justin Kemp were their usual tidy selves.

Denied support by his batting partners, Smith stood admirably firm and has faced 158 balls so far.