West Indies vs. South Africa, 2nd Test Analysis

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Robin Soderling

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  • West Indies vs. South Africa, 2nd Test Analysis

West Indies vs. South Africa, 2nd Test Analysis

It was about time that West Indies fought back to some degree against the dominating South Africans. After losing the ODI series along with the first test match, the home side finally dominated an entire day’s play. A defiant double century stand between Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Brendan Nash frustrated the Proteas bowling for the whole day.

 

The two dominated the South African attack, punishing the seamers on every opportunity, while the spinners were dispatched with even a hint of flight. On a day where the pitch continued to offer little to the bowlers, the pair raced past the follow on score and finally gave some headaches to the visitors.

 

The impressive thing was the level of patience and determination shown by the West Indian batsmen. South Africa dominated the opening session with some tight bowling, but the West Indies struggled it out. When the right time came, runs started flowing and the tired South African attack started to run out of ideas.

 

The two most unlikely partners were Chanderpaul and Nash.  Though both are very different in stance or for that matter every department of the game, but the players worked well in tandem. But as far as temperament is concerned, Nash matched his more senior partner shot by shot. Both left-handers showed great understanding and maturity to lead their team to safety at the end of day 3.

 

As soon as Nash walked out to join Chanderpaul, runs started to come. The seamers were not at all allowed to settle down. Both started plugging away the short balls, while ball that were pitched within the stumps were dealt with on the leg side.

 

But in the first session, it was an altogether different story. Chanderpaul was more circumspect and happy to leave the balls outside the off stump, especially against Morne Morkel who looked to have homed in his radar on the off stump line. Dale Steyn rattled the little left hander, when on a short ball Chanderpaul took his eyes away from the ball and was hit bang on the grill. The damage was eventually not that bad and he managed to shake it off.

 

Paul Harris, the-left-arm orthodox spinner got no assistance from the pitch. Chanderpaul made full use of that and repeatedly swept him, the first one being when he got to his fifty.

 

Chanderpaul after gaining some confidence from his partner Nash at the other end started playing more strokes. Jacques Kallis was the one to get most of the stick in the middle period. As he was cut and pulled numerous times by not only Chanderpaul but Nash also got into the act.  The two hardly gave any chances to opposition. Apart from one or two edges which went through the slips, it was a safe partnership.

 

In the mammoth partnership of 220 runs running over two sessions, it was finally broken by probably the only way South Africa could have hoped for. Nash was run out but not before he had struck a resilient century, scoring 114 from 148 balls (including 14 boundaries and one six). With the score at 371, Nash alongside Chanderpaul had guided his team to some sort of respectability.

 

Chanderpaul though remained not out till the close of play after reaching another milestone, before stumps he had scored 151 runs from 264 balls. That shows how much patience he had shown at the start of the day. His innings included 10 boundaries and one six.

 

West Indies are still 119 runs behind South Africa with 6 wickets standing. Dwayne Bravo had come to the crease after Nash was dismissed. He scored an unbeaten 21 from 58 balls and in the process compiled a 53-run partnership with Chanderpaul. The feat compared to what the two batsmen achieved before he came in may look tiny. But it meant that the hosts did not lose any more wickets.

 

West Indies will start day 4 looking to have another long batting session before South Africa get their chance with the willow. To increase their confidence, the West Indian boys will look to their bowlers to make a similar comeback and knock over the Proteas cheaply in the second innings.

 

 

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