South Africa confident after West Indian collapse

Published: Friday, December 28, 2007, 23:12 [IST]
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The West Indies suffered a second innings collapse to give South Africa an outside chance of victory on the third day of the first Test against South Africa at St George's Park Friday.

The West Indies were 146 for eight at the close, an overall lead of 359.

"It's a great Test to come from behind to win," said senior South African batsman Jacques Kallis. "We've got the batters to go out there and do it. We've batted in far worse conditions and got bigger scores."

But West Indian vice-captain Dwayne Bravo, who took four for 24 to give his side a first innings lead of 213, was confident the West Indies already had enough runs on the board.

"We are happy that we can defend 300 with our bowling unit," said Bravo. "So we already have an extra 60 runs to play with."

Bravo said the pressure would be on South Africa as the home side, who had started the match as hot favourites.

At 122 for two in their second innings, the West Indies were heading for an indomitable position but they lost six wickets for 22 runs to give South Africa hope of winning a Test in which they were outplayed for most of the first three days.

The collapse was started by a direct-hit run-out by Herschelle Gibbs to dismiss Daren Ganga for 45. Fast bowler Dale Steyn took three wickets and left-arm spinner Paul Harris two as the momentum shifted dramatically in the last hour of play.

"That's the way the guys have been bowling all season," said Kallis.

He said the bowling performance would inspire the batsmen.

"It was disappointing the way we got out in the first innings. We all know as a batting unit that we were far below par. The bowlers showed they can correct what happened in the first innings and the batters want to do the same."

West Indian captain Chris Gayle decided not to enforce the follow-on and got the second innings off to a blazing start before he was caught behind off Makhaya Ntini for 29 off 22 balls.

Although Runako Morton was out cheaply, Ganga and Samuels put on 65 for the third wicket to put their side in a dominant position.

Ganga and Samuels were out in successive overs but they had ensured that South Africa would be set a target bigger than the best they have previously achieved in the fourth innings of a Test match - 340 for five against Australia in 2001/02.

Samuels followed Ganga when he dragged an attempted pull against Steyn into his stumps and wickets started to tumble with Steyn finally showing the form that brought him 20 wickets in two Tests against New Zealand last month.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul's run of form came to an end when he edged Steyn low to Jacques Kallis at second slip and Denesh Ramdin gloved a bouncer to gully.

Bravo was given a torrid time by Steyn but fell to Harris when he drove the spinner to mid-on. Harris also trapped Darren Sammy leg before.

Steyn finished the day with three for 53 and Harris took two for 20.

Bravo, who finished with four for 24, took the last four wickets in 21 balls at a personal cost of six runs as the West Indies bowled out South Africa for 195.

South Africa suffered an early blow after resuming on 122 for five when Mark Boucher was out in the third over of the morning. Boucher top-edged a hook against Jerome Taylor and was caught by Daren Powell at fine leg.

But AB de Villiers and Paul Harris defied the West Indian bowlers for most of the morning in a seventh wicket stand of 43 before Bravo struck shortly before lunch.

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