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Gibbs shows his class as South Africa opt for practise

South Africa added just 67 to their overnight 29 without loss in the first session as they squeezed the life out of their three-day game against a West Indies Cricket Board XI at the Kensington Oval on Monday.

Going to lunch on 96 for one, with Herschelle Gibbs 45 and Boeta Dippenaar 21, the South Africans lead by 180 with just two further sessions left in the match.

Gibbs and Gary Kirsten made a solid start to the final morning, Kirsten in particular accumulating in his familiar fashion with well-timed back-foot shots behind square on the off-side. He had reached 26 after an hour when the left-arm wrist-spinner Dave Mohammed got one to pitch and turn away from the left-hander.

As Kirsten drove, the ball was taken by Leon Garrick at first slip and the Board XI went up as one. Umpire Vincent Bullen agreed and Kirsten was on his way, albeit slowly, the impression being it had been bat to ground rather than bat to ball.

After his four-ball duck in the first innings, Boeta Dippenaar needed a knock to restore some confidence and two fours off Mohammed shortly before lunch will certainly have helped.

Herschelle Gibbs meanwhile has again showed the kind of application which when married to his glorious talent make him one of South Africa's finest batsmen. He certainly provided the shot of the morning, hammering Colin Stuart to the extra-cover fence off the back foot with the purest of timing.

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