Second Test Match

West Indies v South Africa, 2000-01

Tony Cozier

At Port-of-Spain, March 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. South Africa won by 69 runs. Toss: South Africa.
The promise of a home victory attracted a last-day crowd of 12,000. West Indies started at 32 for one, requiring another 200 to go one up in the series, but lost four for 19 at the start and five for 19 either side of tea to fall well short. In between, Hooper and Sarwan had raised local hopes with a sixth-wicket partnership of 92, but the captain was eventually left stranded and forlorn. For West Indians, and Trinidadians in particular, it was a disappointing finale to what was billed as the Golden Test; Queen's Park Oval was staging its 50th Test, the eighth ground - and first outside England and Australia - to reach its half-century.

The match itself had a golden moment, midway through the third day, when Walsh became the first player to take 500 Test wickets. There were immediate and emotional celebrations. His team-mates formed a guard of honour as they filed off at tea, when the first man to greet him was Donald, his South African counterpart, who also paid tribute after play as the West Indies Cricket Board presented Walsh with a trophy.

A slow, if true, pitch did not encourage free strokeplay. It was at its liveliest on the opening morning - Kirsten and Gibbs did well to survive, only to perish immediately after lunch - but in the afternoon session Kallis and Cullinan, with deliberate aggression, put on 99 in better than even time. To counter the assault, Hooper turned to Hinds to trundle his medium-pace for the first time in Tests. His third legitimate delivery did the trick, Kallis punching back a drive that Hinds held inches from the pitch. He also removed Boucher and, although Cullinan advanced to his 13th Test hundred, pulling ahead of Kirsten again, the innings never regained momentum. Cullinan, eighth out, had hit 14 fours by the time he top-edged a sweep off Ramnarine to mid-on; the last five wickets tumbled for 30.

On the second day, West Indies often appeared to be gaining the ascendancy, only for Donald to intervene. He removed Samuels and Hinds, after they had added 70 for the second wicket, then Sarwan and Hooper, who put on 75 for the fifth. Ntini accounted for Lara - an edged drive to slip - and West Indies began the third day 36 in arrears with only Jacobs and two bowlers remaining. A ninth-wicket stand of 71 between the doughty keeper and Dillon gave them a first-innings lead for the first time in the eight Tests between the countries. But Jacobs's maiden hundred again proved elusive; he was seven short, after nearly four chanceless hours, when Walsh was run out attempting to give him the strike.

Walsh was not long exacting retribution, striking twice in three balls in his historic seventh over. Kirsten became his 499th victim and a dubious lbw decision made Kallis his 500th. But any further advance was halted by a 149-run partnership between Gibbs and Cullinan, who stayed together until 20 minutes before lunch on the fourth day, when Cullinan skied Ramnarine to cover. Gibbs quickly followed and, after McKenzie and Boucher had put on 49, the new ball saw off the remaining five wickets for 34. Walsh picked off the last three to finish with six for 61 - his first return of five or more in an innings in his 14th and final Test at Queen's Park.

West Indies needed 232 to win, the lowest total of the match. But Ntini struck a vital blow on the final morning when he had Lara lbw for his first Test duck on his home ground, leaving them 51 for five. Hooper and Sarwan kept the contest alive with composed batting until Sarwan was lured into hooking Kallis's third bouncer of the penultimate over before tea, straight to square leg. Jacobs was run out by Gibbs's direct hit soon afterwards, and there was nothing Hooper could do to halt the slide as South Africa hurried to victory.
Man of the Match: D. J. Cullinan.

© John Wisden & Co