West Indies slump to defeat
For much of the day, it seemed that West Indies would be saved by bad weather, but eventually the skies cleared and South Africa cleaned up
South Africa 604 for 6 dec and 46 for 0 (Smith 23*, Gibbs 8*) beat West Indies 301 and 348 (Sarwan 119, Gayle 107) by ten wickets
Shaun Pollock: now only four wickets behind Allan Donald's national record of most Test wickets
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For much of the day, it seemed that West Indies would be saved by bad weather, but eventually the skies cleared and South Africa cleaned up. Shaun Pollock starred with the ball, taking 4 for 69 as the Windies lost their last seven wickets for 75, before Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs romped to a victory target of 46 inside four overs.
West Indies never recovered from a dreadful start to the day. Play had been delayed by almost two hours when the players finally took the field with eleven overs of the morning still remaining, and West Indies needed just nine of those to lose all three of their remaining frontline batsmen. It was a marked contrast to an excellent fourth day, in which South Africa had managed a solitary breakthrough.
After a minute's silence in memory of David Hookes, Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan set about adding to their 164-run fourth-wicket partnership. But Gayle managed to add just a single to his overnight 106, before smearing a wide delivery from Makhaya Ntini to Neil McKenzie in the gully (273 for 4).
Sarwan had opened his account for the day by lifting Shaun Pollock through midwicket for four, but Pollock gained his vengeance three overs later, when he speared one back into Sarwan's pads and sent him on his way for 119. He had equalled his highest Test score, as made against Bangladesh at Dhaka in December 2002, but West Indies had bargained for considerably more.
For Dwayne Smith, however, there was to be no repeat of his matchsaving blitzkrieg at Newlands. He had already been cut in half by his first delivery from Pollock, and was rapped on the pads by Ntini two balls later. Clearly, attack was the only viable response, but unfortunately his booming drive against Ntini found thin air, and his off stump went cartwheeling behind him.
Vasbert Drakes and Ridley Jacobs ensured that there would be no further mishaps before lunch, but Drakes flapped Pollock's fifth ball of the resumption to Gibbs at point, before Pollock struck for a third time as Jacobs was rapped on the pads. Even though South Africa were a bowler short, with Andrew Hall sidelined for up to six weeks with a prolapsed disc, the only sweating they were doing was over the weather conditions.
They were soon forced off the pitch once again, but not before Merv Dillon had walloped 24 not out from 18 balls to stave off the innings defeat. But he was more cautious when play finally resumed, and fell to a limp-batted fend for 29 as Pollock took his career tally to 326 Test wickets - four behind his old partner, Allan Donald.
Ramnaresh Sarwan couldn't repeat his heroics of yesterday
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It was left to the newly-wed Andre Nel to apply an emphatic coup de grace, as Fidel Edwards was bowled neck and crop by an absolute jaffa that went like a fast legbreak and clipped the outside of off stump. He had added 26 for the tenth wicket with Corey Collymore, to give West Indies the merest glimmer of hope.
But a victory target of 46 was small change to Smith and Gibbs, especially when Sarwan gifted them four runs by diving like a poleaxed goalkeeper to palm the ball over the midwicket boundary. Dwayne Smith looked as though he had redeemed the Windies' reputation with a fine leaping catch on the long-on boundary, but unfortunately TV replays proved that he had clipped the rope as he stumbled back on landing. The replays also showed that Dillon had overstepped, so a rough sort of justice was served.
After that, the fight went out of West Indies, and Edwards gifted the victory with a succession of short wide leg-side deliveries that Smith gloved, pulled and missed for four. It was the end of a dispiriting series, and it seems too much to hope that they'll be able to raise their game for the one-day merry-go-round that follows