South Africa maintain 1-0 lead after excruciating draw: Digicel Match Report
South Africa retained their 1-0 lead in the three Test Digicel Series against West Indies after the Second Digicel Test, which was contested on a excruciatingly placid Warner Park pitch, petered out into a dreary draw.
After South Africa piled on 543 for 6 declared in the first two days, the West Indies spent days three and four painstakingly compiling 546 all out, before South Africa followed up with 235 for 3 before the two batsmen at the crease – Jacques Kallis on 62* and AB de Villiers 31* – shook hands with the West Indies captain Chris Gayle and brought a merciful end to the game just before 4pm local time.
The Proteas started the final day on 23 without loss and stuttered at 131 before lunch when they lost two wickets to be 131 for 3, with both Kallis and de Villiers fresh at the crease.
Rookie off spinner Shane Shillingford had earlier accounted for captain Graeme Smith’s wicket when he was caught by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin for 46 to leave the score 74 for 1. Twenty three overs later, Shillingford – the 27 year old Dominican who debuted in the first Test – got an off break to rip across right hander Hashim Amla and he tickled it to leg slip where substitute fielder Darren Sammy accepted with glee.
The right handed Amla – who has been troubled by Shillingford throughout the two Tests – faced 84 deliveries and struck six fours as he fell nine runs short of a half century in what turned out to be the most aggressive innings of the South Africans second turn at bat.
131 for 2 quickly slipped to 131 for 3, when Dwayne Bravo deceived Alviro Petersen (39) with a yorker and sent his off stump cartwheeling. The South Africans had wobbled just on the stroke of lunch but lost no further wickets until the end of the innings.
Kallis and de Villiers returned after the meal and combined to play circumspectly and added 104 runs for the fourth wicket, as they ensured that South Africa’s wobble did not degenerate into further trouble. Shivnarine Chanderpaul – one of five centurions in the match – was named Man of the Match for his marathon 166 which served as the foundation for the West Indies first innings score.
Shillingford picked up two wickets in the second innings to add to his three in the first innings for a match haul of 5 for 273 from 82 overs. He was the leading operator in a forgettable match for bowlers with only Morne Morkel’s 4 for 116 coming close.
The teams will now move to Barbados for the final Digicel Test which commences on Saturday June 26th.