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Dependable Chanderpaul steadies West Indies

Published: Wednesday, January 2, 2008, 22:09 [IST]
 
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Chanderpaul leads Windies fightback

Cape Town: Shivnarine Chanderpaul made a typically patient half-century to anchor a shaky West Indian innings on the first day of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands here on Wednesday.

The West Indies, leading the three-match series 1-0, were 240 for eight at the close, with Chanderpaul unbeaten on 64.

Chanderpaul and Marlon Samuels (51) put on 106 for the fourth wicket but the dismissal of Samuels started a slump in which five wickets fell for 54 runs.

Makhaya Ntini took two wickets in successive overs before Dale Steyn struck three times with the second new ball to put South Africa on top at the end of a cool, overcast day.

The left-handed Chanderpaul, who batted for 398 minutes to make 104 in the first Test in Port Elizabeth, played another marathon innings.

It took him 254 minutes and 184 balls to reach his half-century and by the close he had batted for 297 minutes and faced 214 deliveries. He hit six boundaries.

Steyn took four for 60, while Ntini claimed two for 63.

Samuels and Chanderpaul came together before lunch when the tourists were 77 for three after winning the toss. They were not separated until Ntini had Samuels caught behind after tea.

It was in contrast to the aggressive batting earlier of captain Chris Gayle, who hit 46 off 49 balls and put on 59 off only 66 balls in a second wicket stand with Runako Morton.

Samuels and Chanderpaul were particularly watchful immediately after lunch when Steyn and Ntini both bowled well without being able to make a breakthrough.

Samuels took 28 balls to score his first run and was dropped on two when he mistimed a drive against Ntini, with the bowler unable to hold a sharp chance above his head and to his right. He made his 51 off 144 balls with seven fours.

Gayle, who looked awkward running between wickets after appearing to suffer a recurrence of the hamstring injury which kept him out of action for almost four weeks before he led the side to a 128-run win in the first Test in Port Elizabeth, hit two sixes and two fours in a 49-ball innings.

Both his sixes were off Ntini - an audacious straight hit and a pulled six over midwicket despite a fielder being placed just inside the boundary. Ntini conceded 32 runs in his first spell of six overs but then gave away only another 27 runs in 15 more overs as well as taking two wickets.

Gayle fell shortly before lunch to a diving catch by Neil McKenzie at gully off Andre Nel.

McKenzie was playing in his first Test for three-and-a-half years after being picked as an opening batsman to replace Herschelle Gibbs.

The West Indies brought in leg-spinner Rawl Lewis in place of all-rounder Darren Sammy.

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