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June 13, 2010
South Africa 352 and 206 for 4 dec (Smith 90, Benn 3-74) beat West Indies 102 and 293 (Gayle 73, Steyn 3-65) by 163 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
What was a rout on day three proved harder graft on day four as South Africa's bowlers, for the second time in as many days, worked their way through the West Indies line-up to deliver a comprehensive 163-run victory.
For West Indies fans, the past fifteen years has been a case of dragging positives out the wreckage of defeat and today only Chris Gayle, who resisted stoically for 73, and Dwayne Bravo emerged with much credit. While in charge of England's bowlers recently Ottis Gibson had twice watched South Africa denied by iron-willed resistance, but in his first Test as West Indies coach there were no heroics from the batting team.
Instead it was Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn, the most incisive new-ball pair in the world, who took the plaudits. Fast bowling has suffered under the torrent of lifeless pitches and endless cricket in recent times, but the South African pair gave the few spectators at the Queen's Park Oval memories of old as they efficiently chipped their way through the tired surface and West Indies' top-order.
Graeme Smith rewarded his bowlers with some rest when, on day three, he chose not to enforce the follow on and South Africa began the day by cautiously extending their lead to 456 before finally declaring after an hour this morning. It was an unnecessarily conservative effort first-up from the tourists but they still had more than enough time to complete their task.
Morkel was the man who did the damage early on in the first innings, and he picked up from where he left off immediately second time round, trapping Travis Dowlin in front with his first ball of the innings. It brought Brendan Nash to the crease, batting at least two places too high at No. 3. Nash had forged a Test career on nuggety defiance but in circumstances seemingly made for him, he was instead intent on swiping his way to glory. Inevitably, he was soon found out, pushing loosely outside off stump to give Steyn an early wicket.
At that stage it looked as though West Indies may fold quickly again, but Gayle found a willing partner in Shivnarine Chanderpaul and launched an entertaining counter-attack. Where in the first innings he tried to block and nurdle, this time round he reverted to his preferred see-ball-hit-ball method. There were some memorable shots as he raced to a half-century in 62 balls, none more so than a check-drive straight back over Morkel's head for six. Yet throughout there was the feeling he was West Indies' only hope. Gayle may well possess the broadest shoulders in the Test game but the burden of carrying this team must be taking its toll.
He could only watch on helplessly as Chanderpaul lost concentration and fenced aimlessly at Jacques Kallis to end a 55-run stand and the home team's best period of resistance. Thereafter South Africa steadily chizzled away as the game meandered to its inevitable result.
Paul Harris did his best Ashley Giles impression, offering little more than accuracy as Smith rotated his pace bowlers from the other end. Gayle's continued defiance lured optimistic West Indians into dreaming that he may be able to repeat his marathon hundred at Adelaide last year, but this time conditions were more testing and the task more futile.
Eventually Morkel landed the killer blow, removing him for the second time in the match. Gayle was pinned on the crease as he played around his front pad and, knowing his team's fortunes would depart with him, thought longingly about a referral before dragging himself off.
Narsingh Deonarine, who had also impressed in Australia, looked fraught throughout his stay here. His movements were exaggerated and edgy and after a couple of well-timed drives, he could not withstand a round-the-wicket attack from Steyn. Hanging on the back foot he played around a full ball to become another West Indian batsman trapped lbw.
It ended a useful stand with Bravo who, after surviving a close bat-pad shout, played with the exuberance and flair missing from his first innings. Having stroked his way to 49 he got embroiled, and eventually defeated, in a game of patience with Harris. Sticking with monastic commitment to a line outside leg stump, Harris frustrated Bravo and was eventually rewarded when Bravo chipped tamely to midwicket. Harris has a thoroughly unglamorous role in this side, holding up an end while Steyn and Morkel attack, but he did it well and deserved a reward.
As has so often been the case recently, West Indies were left looking to salvage little but pride from a hopeless situation. Instead Dinesh Ramdin gifted Lonwabo Tsotsobe a first Test wicket. While lacking the gifts of his senior colleagues, Tsotsobe was accurate and cut his fingers over the ball effectively to restrict all the batsmen he came up against and deserved some luck.
It was left to the spinning duo - Sulieman Benn and Shane Shillingford, who had done well earlier in the day to limit South Africa to 51 runs in 18.3 overs - to bring some cheer to the West Indies fans. The old ball had made survival easier and they batted merrily during a 66-run stand in almost 15 overs. Benn was finally undone by Alviro Petersen and Shillingford duly followed. Fittingly it was Steyn who finished the job, bowling Nelon Pascal off an inside edge to give South Africa their eighth successive victory over West Indies this tour.
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