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