Smith, Pollock guide SA to box seat

Published: Thursday, January 10, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Bangalore: South African opener Graeme Smith struck a strokeful century after recalled seamer Shaun Pollock wrecked West Indies batting line-up to help their side stay on top of the third and final Test against West Indies at Kingsmead in Durban on Thursday.

Hosts were 213/1 with Smith and Amla batting on 122 and 55 respectively at stumps on day one in reply to Windies' first innings of 139.

Medium pacer Pollock, who was left out of South Africa's first six Tests of the season, took four for 35. Nel plucked three and Ntini claimed two.

Gibbs, the lone wicket to fall for the hosts, scored a brisk 27 before playing Powell unto to stumps.


Smith and Amla shared an undefeated 160-run stand for the second wicket. The SA skipper batted like a gladiator on a wicket which helped seamers. He cut and drove with aplomb.

The stylish southpaw was severe on Windies new-ball bowlers Powell and Edwards blasting them out of the attack with a series of boundary hits. His 133-ball knock was studded with 23 boundary hits while his partner at the other end Amla was content in watching his skip's innings.

Earlier, Pollock, who was left-out of the South Africa Test squad since last Oct owing to lack of pace, made a statement of intent returning with four-wicket haul on a seamer-friendly wicket. Right-arm seamer took 3/22 in his first spell of seven overs.

The visitors slumped to 100/7 going into lunch break after being put in to bat in gloom.

Fast bowler Dale Steyn drew the first blood when he had Daren Ganga caught by Graeme Smith at at first slip for three.

Pollock, who is playing his 108th Test, struck for the first time by trapping Runako Morton of a delivery that pitched out-side the off-stump line and cut back onto Morton for just one.

 Debutant Brenton Parchment (11) failed to make mark and was dismissed by Pollock, courtesy a fine diving catch by Gibbs at gully.

Fast bowler Makhaya Ntini struck in consecutive overs to have Marlon Samuels caught behind by wicketkeeper Mark Boucher for six and Shivnarine Chanderpaul snapped up by Jacques Kallis at second slip for a duck.

Ramdin topscored for Windies with a blazing 30 while Sammy and Taylor scored 28 and 25 respectively.

Herschelle Gibbs, who was left out of the second Test, claimed three fine catches in the gully in his comeback match.

Bravo led West Indies for the first time in a Test in the absence of Chris Gayle, who was ruled out with a broken thumb.


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