Honours even after opening day


Published: Friday 2nd January 2015 by The News Editor

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Dale Steyn struck to give South Africa a potentially crucial opening at the end of an evenly-contested first day of the third Test against West Indies.

Steyn took advantage of the second new ball to remove battling West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin four overs from the close at Cape Town and leave the tourists on 276 for six at stumps.

The breakthrough, after a frustrating stand of 94 for the sixth West Indies wicket, will give the hosts hope of removing the tail on day two and building a position to clinch a series victory.

South Africa lead 1-0 after the first two matches of the three-Test series.

The West Indies will have mixed feelings about the match situation after looking solid throughout but failing to take full advantage of a number of promising positions.

Five of their batsmen passed 40 but South Africa’s reliable attack kept them in check on what appeared a placid pitch.

Debutant off-spinner Simon Harmer, selected in place of Imran Tahir, enjoyed an encouraging first day of Test cricket, taking three for 67.

Steyn’s pace earned him two for 59 – moving him past Makhaya Ntini into second place on South Africa’s all-time list of Test wicket-takers and to within 30 of the record mark of 421 held by Shaun Pollock – but Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel went wicketless despite some lively spells.

West Indies made a disappointing start after winning the toss as Kraigg Brathwaite edged Steyn low to Dean Elgar at gully for seven.

Devon Smith led what seemed a promising recovery and had little trouble until rashly attempting to cut Harmer on the stroke of lunch and getting bowled for 47.

Leon Johnson also frustrated South Africa, hitting nine fours in his 54, but was then trapped leg before by Harmer.

Marlon Samuels might have taken the game away from the Proteas but his 43 was punctuated by moments of rashness and he looked fallible. He hit six boundaries but then played a lazy drive to Faf du Plessis at extra cover to give Stiaan van Zyl a first Test wicket.

Veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul became Harmer’s third victim first ball after tea after scoring just nine as he overbalanced and AB de Villiers took a smart stumping down the legside.

Any hopes South Africa might have had of making further quick inroads were dashed as Ramdin dug in in partnership with Jermaine Blackwood.

Ramdin almost saw out the session but was eventually undone by Steyn on 53 as he lobbed a simple caught and bowled opportunity back to the paceman.

Blackwood, brought back into the side to bolster the batting in place of seamer Kenroy Peters, remained unbeaten on 45 at the close.

Published: Friday 2nd January 2015 by The News Editor

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