South Africa draws level with the 'Windies'

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By: Dwight Fraser and Devon Anderson

shivnarine_chanderpaul1.jpgThe West Indies were brought back to earth after a historic and record breaking first test win over South Africa, in the just concluded second test in Cape Town.

Led by a breath-taking century 104, the classy Guyanese batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul was in immaculate form, registering his 17th career test century and with superb bowling by the trio of Fidel Edwards, Jerome Taylor and Darren Powell, the Caribbean side rushed past South Africa by 128 runs, to win the first test in Port Elizabeth.

This was the 'Windies' first win against South Africa in nine attempts, and out of that victory came many other firsts, as it was the first win for Captain Chris Gayle, the first for newly appointed Australian Coach John Dyson and it was also the first win for the Windies over a big name cricket country, since the win over England in Egbaston in 2000.

A win in the second Test on January 5, would have certainly given the Caribbean Side the victory in the three match series, but South Africa had other ideas.

The West Indies took first strike and could only muster up 243, too small a total for a big side like South Africa, who is ranked second in the Test category on the ICC ladder. Chanderpaul again stepping up to the demand and stroking an unbeaten 65, supported by Marlon Samuels who chipped in with 51.

In reply South Africa drummed up 321 as Ashwell Prince was unfortunate in not getting a century after being run out for 98, as South Africa set up a lead of 78 runs.

In the second Innings the West Indies needed a miracle not only in getting past the 78 runs lead, but in putting up a big score perhaps 350 or more with two days to go, but got in all sorts of trouble, with the openers Denish Ramdin 32 runs and Darren Ganga 22 runs going back to the dressing room cheaply. Here the African bowler Dale Steyn picked up 4 for 44 to rattle the Windies who fell for 262 despite a gallant 38 from Captain Chris Gayle, and an unbeaten 70 from Chanderpaul.

And with 185 runs to win the Proteas were home and dry, with two men standing tall; Captain Grahame Smith who smashed a top score 85, and Jaque Kallis who supported with 22, as South Africa lost only three wickets in reaching 186...argument done, South Africa won by seven wickets.

YardFlex fans, around the region are now eagerly awaiting what will be a mouth watering clash in the third and final test which bowls off on Thursday, January 10 in Durban.

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