West Indies v SA, 2nd Test, St Kitts, 5th day June 22, 2010

Windies save face in high-scoring draw


South Africa 543 for 6 dec (Smith 132, de Villiers 135*, Kallis 110) and 235 for 3 (Kallis 62*, Smith 46) drew with West Indies 546 (Chanderpaul 166, Nash 114, Morkel 4-116)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

Playing out the final day was more of a formality for South Africa as the second Test ended in a high-scoring draw, confirming what many would have feared five days ago on taking a look at a road of a pitch at Warner Park. The surface hadn't deteriorated enough over four days to give the bowlers any sort of advantage, so it would have been ridiculous to expect at least ten wickets going down to constitute a result.

South Africa had all ten wickets in hand this morning when they took guard, and predictably went through the motions, with the aim of getting extra batting practice ahead of the final Test. It was, in other words, more of a televised nets session, with both teams resigned to the conclusion that no result was possible. The pitch was a poor advertisement for Test cricket, and the last two days in particular were completely overshadowed by other world sporting events viewers would have turned to - one in London and the other in South Africa.

Despite the result, or the lack of it, West Indies had more to gain. Their batting was a shambles in Trinidad and perhaps a flat wicket here in St Kitts was the best thing for them to get their confidence back. In overhauling South Africa's 543, they gained a moral victory, though the manner in which they got there was a topic of debate. The sudden shift of tactics from urgency to obduracy was questionable, but at least they ensured they wouldn't lose. In their defense though, run-scoring on the fourth day wasn't the easiest, with the left-arm spinner persisting with an over the wicket line to the right-handers.

South Africa lost just three wickets till the final hour after tea, when the captains expectedly decided to call it off. But the extended morning session - to make up for lost time due to rain yesterday - wasn't boring or lacking in action. Shane Shillingford got the ball to turn and bounce, there was a dropped catch, couple of confident appeals and a referral which was turned down. The batsmen weren't too cautious either and weren't afraid to reach out to the ball, even if the strokes weren't convincing.

Graeme Smith looked solid during his 46. He was positive against the spinners as well, rocking back to cut if it was slightly short. In one over, he chipped down the track to Shillingford and lofted it crisply over long-on and then leant forward to crunch one past covers. But Shillingford hit back by getting one to turn from middle and induced a thick edge from Smith, trying to cut.

Smith's opening partner, Alviro Petersen, was watchful and looked in control. He had a slip, silly point and silly mid-off but successfully negotiated the spinners, even reverse sweeping them. Hashim Amla, however, didn't look so assured. There was a puff of dust when Shillingford landed it on the rough outside off and Amla was circumspect against the turn and bounce.

Amla ought to have been dismissed on 21 when Bravo fluffed a sitter at slip, off Sulieman Benn. He managed five convincing boundaries against the spinners on both sides of the wicket, but perished to the impressive Shillingford, tucking it to backward short leg. Dwayne Bravo then ended the session in style by flattening Petersen's off stump with a yorker.

No wickets fell in the post-lunch session as the Test meandered towards a predictable draw. Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers went through the motions and built a steady partnership which extended to 104.

Kallis began the second session in style with a couple of straight-driven boundaries off Shillingford. The offspinner, who took two wickets in the opening session, changed his line of attack to round the wicket to the right-handers as a very defensive option. The South Africans gave no chances, save for a run-out attempt at de Villiers - Roach's throw from square leg missed the stumps at the bowler's end. Kallis was solid as ever against the seamers, driving Bravo off the front foot and also pulling him for a powerful six. He reached his fifty with a clip to the on side just before the tea break.

South Africa declared an hour after the tea break and the relief was palpable at the early finish to the game. The best the players can hope for is a sporting track at the Kensington Oval for the deciding Test.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ronald on June 24, 2010, 15:53 GMT

    And everyone thought the windies couldn't do it! Our boys maybe unpredictable, but don't count dem out. All the opening batsmen have to do is to stay at the crease for a few overs and everything will become easy like 'tea & water', as granny & naany of LEG 1 island used to say (Sarwan & Baroness V. Amos know what im talking about)! Here's something provocative - if we can infuse some of Darren Ganga's leadership abilities into Chris, then wi competitiveness will increase ten-fold. Ian Chappell will concur. Sorry to the Jamaicans and 'Bigga' Chris's fans.

  • Pramod on June 24, 2010, 15:01 GMT

    What an atrocious PITCH!!! This match would not have finished even if it was played for 8 days. I remember the ICC lodging a complaint when a test match in ahmedabad against england in 4 days. The viewers did not feel the pitch was too bad but the batsmen in the game who had been spoon-fed on dead tracks did not adjust to the demands of the pitch. I do not see any good in this game other than some batsmen who helped themselves increase their averages. Why does this issue still does not get addressed? Pitches like this will kill test cricket. It would have been a trauma for the bowlers and the viewers to witness this drab show as this was not the first and neither will it be the last time such a match would be played , never mind the two teams which are playing.

  • david on June 24, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    West Id=ndies made the spectators have no fun at all.

  • diren on June 24, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    westindies should be banned from test cricket....they never going to win a match anyway

  • Dummy4 on June 23, 2010, 12:03 GMT

    LoserIndies are trying to kill Test cricket for sure - the ICC should introduce punitive measures for this malarchy - Boo West Indies ... try less talk and more cricket - the LoserIndies TALK like champs and play like chumps - get real, avoiding a whitewash like this, isn't cricket

  • Robin on June 23, 2010, 10:42 GMT

    Gotta love the double standards. A few days ago it was a dominating performance by the SA batsmen, now the Windies get a simular score, it suddenly becomes a disgraceful pitch. There's no doubt that this was a very flat wicket and the ICC needs to address this, in all fairness to the bowlers having any chance of making a impact. It was a competitive match up to the third day, then negative tactics on Day four all but killed this test match. Well i'm sure Barbados will be a more lively wicket, with the Saffers being clear favourites to take this series. It's also comforting to know that we have varied opinions from others with such impartial and level-headed views.

  • david on June 23, 2010, 10:36 GMT

    i love test match cricket over all other forms of cricket, but these kinds of wicket does test match cricket no favours. the reason the WI has such a derth of fast bowlers you have just seen 5 days of reason. against england they won the 1st test and from then on they played on wickets similar to this. u need pace and bounce with a touch of grass to give an equal chance between bat and bowl, with spinners coming in to their own on the 4th/5th days. dpk

  • Nataraaj on June 23, 2010, 9:38 GMT

    Before the toss, everyone knew this is a dead wicket. there is nothing great in batting on wicket like this. already there is lot of criticism about boring test and this is another poor show. may be WI board first wanted to stop SA's winning run and thought to give practice to their batsman so thea they come good in terms of run for next test... let us see how they fare in next test. There is nothing to discuss about bowling

  • Dummy4 on June 23, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    I think one should applaud westindies, the only possible result they can produce with such a team, they dont have the bowling strength as of now to create ripples in the SA line up.......so for a draw they need this kind of wicket...its crystal clear!!!

  • diren on June 23, 2010, 6:31 GMT

    an absolute disgrace off a pitch! its this that gives test cricket a bad name, its sad South Africa couldnt continue with the white wash but lucky for the westindies. PLEASE MR GROUNDSMAN PREPARE A GOOD WICKET FOR THE NEXT MATCH SO THAT SA CAN DRILL THE WINDIES AGAIN.....THANK YOU

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