<
>

Garrick takes opportunity to stake his claim against South Africa

Opening batsman Leon Garrick took South Africa's bowlers to task as Jamaica carried the bragging rights out of a largely meaningless but well-supported two-day encounter at Jarrett Park in Montago Bay on Monday.

Garrick struck a superb century as Jamaica finished 380 for six in reply to the tourists 199-9 declared, but the game was little more than a glorified net as South Africa continued their preparations for the Fifth Test which begins at Sabina Park in Kingston on Thursday.

The futility of the contest was only enhanced when the second new ball was tossed to opening batsman Kirsten, who after previously bowling off-spin, turned instead to some very gentle medium-pacers, bowled with three slips in position. Things then finally took a turn for the totally bizarre when coach Graham Ford, his assistant Corrie van Zyl and physiotherapist Craig Smith came on as substitute fielders.

Perhaps there was meaning in it for Garrick and Marlon Samuels, both of whom took the chance to impress the West Indies selectors with both hands. Garrick was still there at the close on 174, scored off 279 balls and including 20 fours, while Test discard Samuels looked back to his best with a fluent 84, before he was trapped leg-before by Lance Klusener.

The pair added 161 for the third wicket, batting untroubled through the morning session as Jamaica moved from their overnight 60-2 to 143-2 at lunch.

With the partnership broken, however, South Africa capitalised with three more wickets and briefly held the balance of power. Makhaya Ntini picked up the wickets of Ricardo Powell (12) and captain Robert Samuels (0) and shortly after tea Andre Nel was rewarded for a lengthy spell when Gareth Breese (15) spliced a rising delivery to Gary Kirsten in the gully.

But that was where it ended for the South Africans as Garrick was joined by Nehemiah Perry (66 not out) for an unbroken partnership worth another 161 runs for the seventh wicket.