|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
At Kingston, April 19, 20, 21, 22, 23. West Indies won by 130 runs. Toss: West Indies. Test debut: L. V. Garrick.
For West Indies, a welcome, deserved and hard-fought win was their first in 14 Tests since Birmingham the previous June. For South Africa, it was their first loss in 13 Tests since Galle in July. Victory was a fitting gift for Walsh in his last Test, and his six wickets carried his series total to 25, more than anyone else on either side. They also lifted his Test record to 519.
In spite of a pitch Pollock rated the best of the series, with "bounce and carry" similar to those in South Africa, the scoring was again slow and low. There were no centuries and only six batsmen reached 50. West Indies coach Roger Harper said that, for the first time, his team had come very close to playing to their full capacity over all five days. Yet they started badly. Leon Garrick, rushed into the squad on the eve of the Test to replace Hinds, on the basis of an unbeaten 174 for Jamaica against the tourists, took the first ball - and cut it straight to gully. He thus became the second debutant, after Jimmy Cook, for South Africa against India at Durban in 1992-93, to fall to the opening delivery of a Test.
After that, only Lara of the top order batted with authority against the persistent pace attack. In three and three-quarter hours, he struck 12 fours, mainly on the off side. When he diverted an intended pull off Pollock to slip, West Indies were a shaky 167 for seven, and it needed some bold batting by Dillon and Ramnarine, who hit a Test-best 35 not out, to push the total past 200. Pollock finished with five for 28.
Walsh, Cuffy and Dillon followed the example of the South African fast bowlers, never let the opposition get going, and had them 97 for six. McKenzie carried the fight to the West Indians for just under three hours, until he was lbw sweeping Ramnarine, but no one else stayed more than an hour and a half. Pollock became the first South African to complete the Test double of 2,000 runs and 200 wickets, but his side were dismissed for 141, their lowest total in the 11 Tests between these countries.
West Indies led by 84, but they made heavy work of building on it. The usually quick-scoring Gayle spent four and a quarter hours scoring 32; when he was yorked by Pollock, and Hooper fended Kallis's steep bouncer to third slip, West Indies were 126 for five. The reliable Jacobs ensured their advantage was not wasted. He added 58 with Samuels, returning for the injured Sarwan, and 45 with Dillon to stretch the lead to 339 on the third evening. He was nearing another hundred when his mistimed hook off Klusener next morning found McKenzie at deep square leg.
As Walsh emerged for his last Test innings, the South Africans formed a guard of honour. Inevitably, he did not last long, but it was long enough to receive a painful blow on the foot which temporarily forced him off after an opening burst of nine overs. His work was not yet done, however, for there was still a rare victory to be fought for; on his return, he had the dangerous Cullinan lbw with his third ball. Earlier, Dillon had removed Kirsten cheaply, and Gibbs spoiled an impressive 51 with a wild sweep at Hooper.
South Africa began the last day on 140 for three, still 246 short of their goal, and they kept the West Indians waiting until seven overs before lunch for their next wicket. Three quick strikes either side of the interval by Ramnarine eased the tension. McKenzie was the first to go, well taken at silly point, and, in the first over on resumption, Kallis played on and Boucher was caught at the wicket. Klusener and Pollock lasted half an hour before Hooper claimed the new ball, whereupon Dillon and Walsh swiftly disposed of further resistance with two more wickets apiece. Walsh's 519th and last victim was his opposite number, Donald.
Man of the Match: R. D. Jacobs.