Smith puts Proteas in control

Graeme Smith leads from the front for South Africa on day one.

    Shaun Pollock: Back with a bang
    Graeme Smith stroked a fluent 13th test century to keep South Africa on top in the third and final test against West Indies.

    South Africa were 213 for one, a lead of 74 runs after they had bowled out the tourists for 139, when bad light ended play 10 overs early on the first day.

    Smith reached 122 not out in a chanceless innings, sharing an unbroken stand of 160 with Hashim Amla (55 not out) to record South Africa's highest second-wicket partnership against West Indies.

    Recalled seamer Shaun Pollock, who was left out of South Africa's first six tests of the season, led the home side's attack with his return of four for 35.

    "The cloud cover in the morning made the ball swing and that helped us," Pollock said.

    "We had the better of the conditions. If we hadn't made early inroads it could have been tough work for us."

    Fast bowler Dale Steyn made the initial breakthrough when he had Daren Ganga caught by Smith at first slip for three.

    Pollock, who is playing his 108th test, struck for the first time by trapping Runako Morton in front for just one.

    Herschelle Gibbs took the first of three catches in the gully when he leapt high and to his right to remove debutant Brenton Parchment (11) off an edge from Pollock's bowling.

    Fast bowler Makhaya Ntini struck in consecutive overs to have Marlon Samuels caught behind by wicketkeeper Mark Boucher for six and Shivnarine Chanderpaul snapped up by Kallis at second slip for a duck.

    Chanderpaul, who anchored the West Indian innings in the first two tests with a century and two half-centuries, faced just three balls.

    South Africa wrapped up the innings in the ninth over after lunch with Nel having Darren Sammy (25) caught by Smith at first slip and Pollock completing his haul when Fidel Edwards (0) edged to Boucher.

    Smith and Gibbs started South Africa's reply with an aggressive stand of 53 that was ended in the ninth over when fast bowler Daren Powell bowled Gibbs (27) off the bottom edge of his bat.

    South Africa's scoring rate slowed in the early stages of Smith and Amla's partnership, but by the close they were in fluent form against an increasingly weary attack.

    Fast bowler Edwards was denied Amla's wicket for 38 when Morton dropped a difficult chance at second slip.

    The series is level at 1-1.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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