Thursday 10 January 2008 

Smith And Pollock Put South Africa In Charge In Durban

West Indies 139 (Pollock 4-35, Nel 3-45) v
South Africa 213-1 (Smith 122no, Amla 55no) in Durban

Series level at 1-1

Shaun Pollock took four wickets on his return before South African captain Graeme Smith hit a century to ensure that his side were well on top on day one of the third and final Test in Durban. West Indies were bowled out for 139 before Smith's knock helped his side gain a first innings lead before bad light ended play.

Smith, who won the toss, hit the first ball of the South African innings for four to set the tone for an aggressive start which saw the Proteas openers race away. He and Gibbs scored 53 in 52 balls before Gibbs' innings of 27, which included four fours and one six over backward point, came to an end when he chopped on off of Daren Powell.

The West Indian bowlers erred in line and length, and were unable to get the same amount of swing and seam that the likes of Pollock were early in the day.

With the West Indians happy to feed Smith's favourite shots on the leg side, he raced to a half-century from 70 balls, hammering Darren Sammy for three boundaries to bring up that milestone and take his side past 100 in the 22nd over.

He went on to complete his 13th Test century with the Proteas already in the lead with an innings that included 19 boundaries. Hashim Amla then passed his half-century as the pair put together a record second-wicket stand for South Africa against the West Indies.

Earlier, the South Africans exploited favourable bowling conditions, producing movement in the air and off the pitch which was too much for Daren Ganga (three), caught at slip by Smith off of Steyn, and Runako Morton, trapped in front by Pollock for one.

Soon after, Brenton Parchment's first Test knock was ended by a flying catch in the gully by Herschelle Gibbs. He had made 11. Makhaya Ntini, brought back after a two over opening spell, then induced in-form Marlon Samuels to edge to Mark Boucher for six to leave the West Indies in deep trouble.

If South Africa celebrated the wicket of Samuels enthusiastically, those celebrations were doubled when Shivnarine Chanderpaul (nought) pushed at Ntini, Jacques Kallis taking the catch at second slip.

Stand-in captain Bravo (13) and Denesh Ramdin shone briefly with six boundaries between them before Pollock got one to jump on Bravo which looped off the shoulder of his bat and Gibbs did the rest.

Gibbs picked up his third catch of the innings when Ramdin edged Andre Nel into the gully having made 30. Darren Sammy and Jerome Taylor played a few shots without ever looking convincing at the crease as the West Indies scrambled to lunch at 100 for seven.

Soon after the interval, Pollock had Taylor caught for 25, brilliantly caught in the deep after not getting hold of a pull shot by Steyn. Darren Sammy (28) was the next to go, giving Smith an easy catch at slip off of Nel. Fidel Edwards lasted just two balls before Boucher took the catch to end the innings.

West Indies handed a Test debut to Parchment in place of injured Chris Gayle, although Edwards was cleared to play and Sammy replaced Rawl Lewis. Pollock replaced spinner Paul Harris as South Africa went with a four-pronged seam attack while Gibbs was recalled in place of the injured Neil McKenzie.

Smith won the toss and chose to bowl. The series is level at 1-1 after South Africa equalised the West Indies' victory in Port Elizabeth with a win in Cape Town.

� Cricket World 2008