South Africa strengthen stranglehold on West Indies


Express June 14, 2010

South Africa rode into a commanding position at lunch on the fourth day of the first Test against West Indies needing nine more wickets to seal a win at the Queen’s Park Oval. The hosts were 62 for one in the second innings, having been set a daunting 457 to win.

Chris Gayle, playing his usual attacking style, looked threatening as he scored 42 off just 45 deliveries. But the bigger test for the hosts is to face Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, who shared nine wickets between them in the first innings.

Earlier, South Africa, surprisingly, refused to enforce the follow-on and added 206 in addition to a first-innings lead of 250.

Graeme Smith scored 90 that included seven boundaries but was dismissed ten runs short of his century and declared the innings soon after to set West Indies the improbable target that the hosts will do well to chase down.

Steyn’s milestone

But it was really the South African bowling in the West Indies’ first innings that has set up the match for them so far.

Morkel ripped through the top-order before Steyn took matters into his own hands as he fired up a five-wicket haul, giving away only 29 to help the Proteas dismiss the hosts for a paltry 102.

Steyn, playing in just his 39th Test match, became the 54th bowler in Test history and the fifth South African to take 200 wickets but the fourth fastest in terms of matches.

Published in the Express Tribune, June 14th, 2010

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