Saturday 5 January 2008 

Both Sides Hit By Injuries Ahead Of Decider In Durban

Injuries took their toll on both teams when South Africa beat West Indies by seven wickets in the second test to level the series 1-1.

Visiting captain Chris Gayle had his thumb fractured by a ball from paceman Andre Nel and could miss the third and deciding test in Durban starting on Thursday.

"The x-rays show it's cracked around the joint and it doesn't look good but if it were up to me I'd have it strapped and I would play," Gayle told reporters on Saturday.

West Indies paceman Fidel Edwards also strained a hamstring after bowling only 4.5 overs.

South Africa lost batsman Neil McKenzie with a torn calf while fast bowler Dale Steyn is doubtful with a hamstring problem.

Herschelle Gibbs, replaced by McKenzie here, will come back into the side in Durban. Monde Zondeki has been drafted in as cover for Steyn.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith suggested the heavily-grassed outfield was partly to blame for some of the injuries.

"With the outfield being heavy, we knew one or two guys were going to struggle and the conditions would take their toll," said Smith.

"The pitch and the outfield made it a hard-fought test and West Indies showed a lot more patience and discipline than we're used to from a West Indian team."

Gayle felt his side stood a good chance of winning the series in Durban.

"We're disappointed but the guys should be proud about how they played this game," Gayle said.

"We need to stick to the basics and play some decent cricket, we're still in with a chance."

© Cricket World 2008

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