Seamers put WI on top

Associated Press

Georgetown, April 3:

Fast bowlers Pedro Collins, Daren Powell and Reon King stifled South Africa’s top order and powered the West Indies to a commanding position on Saturday in the opening Test on a rain-shortened third day at Bourda.

South Africa, replying to the Windies’ 543 for five declared, closed on 130 for six. The dominance through the first three days of the Test came despite the absence of seven key regulars. Left-armer Collins led charge with 2-33. Powell took 2-42 and King supported with 2-32.

Opener AB de Villiers topscored with a 41 which spanned 103 minutes. Wicketkeeper Mark Boucher (32 not out) and Nicky Boje (21 not out) tried to mount a late rally, but South Africa still trailed by 413 and need another 214 runs to avoid the follow on. Early morning rain threatened to spoil the entire day as the outfield was swamped in many places. But the sun shone throughout the day and enabled play to get under way midway into the second session.

The West Indies started quickly as the South Africans struggled from the outset against a new ball spell from Collins and Powell before tea. Collins began by taking the wicket of captain Graeme Smith, who chased an outswinger and edged to wicketkeeper Courtney Browne. Powell followed his senior partner’s lead in the next over. The 26-year-old claimed Jacques Rudolph first ball and added the wicket of Jacques Kallis two balls later for a duck.

The home crowd were sent into further excitement again when Collins reduced the visitors to 30/4 by removing Herschelle Gibbs. Villiers forged a mini-revival in a fifth wicket stand of 41 with Boucher. But King maintained the West Indies’ grip by eliminating Villiers nine short of a half century.