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South Africa dominate first day

Last updated on: April 30, 2005 11:21 IST

Centurions AB de Villiers and Graeme Smith dominated the first day of the fourth Test between the West Indies and South Africa in St John's, Antigua on Friday.

South Africa, who won the toss and chose to bat, reached stumps on 214 without loss on a day curtailed to 48.5 overs by bad light and rain as De Villiers reached 103 with Smith on 106.

It was Smith's third century in as many matches and De Villiers' second in succession as South Africa look to consolidate their 2-0 lead in the last Test of the four-match series.

South Africa's openers took a liking to the flat pitch, the fast and small outfield, and the West Indies' lacklustre bowling.

The Antigua Recreation Ground where the match is being played has a reputation for producing big innings and has yielded 45 centuries in the 19 Test matches that have been played here.

De Villiers faced 145 balls and hit 12 fours and a six.

Smith scored his runs off 151 balls with 17 fours and registered his 11th century.

De Villiers was the aggressor for the first half of the day's play but Smith eased into his innings and reached his century first.

Smith needed a measure of luck to make the most of those advantages.

He survived a run-out scare in the second over when Wavell Hinds' underarm throw from cover just missed the stumps.

Debutant fast bowler Dwight Washington came close to taking a wicket with the last ball of his first over when Smith's slash at a wide delivery narrowly cleared a leaping Dwayne Bravo in the gully.

Smith was again almost run out, for 58, with what became the last ball of the second session's play.

This time Narsingh Deonarine failed to gather the throw cleanly and broke the wicket at the non-striker's end with his hands only, with Smith well out of his ground.

De Villiers hardly put a foot wrong, and cut, drove and pulled with power. He played and missed rarely, and the closest he came to being dismissed was on 83 when he attempted to play a delivery from fast bowler Daren Powell to the leg side and a looping edge fell just short of the cover field.

Smith scored many of his runs with drives and pulls.

None of the West Indian bowlers threatened the batsmen often enough to make an impression as the seamers in particular bowled a generously full length.


South Africa 1st innings:
A. de Villiers not out 103
G. Smith not out 106

Extras (nb-4 w-1) 5

Total (for no loss, 48.5 overs) 214

To bat: B. Dippenaar, J. Kallis, H. Gibbs, A. Prince, M. Boucher, N. Boje, M. Zondeki, M. Ntini, S. Pollock

Bowling: Powell 9-0-48-0 (nb-1 w-1), Best 9-2-37-0 (nb-2), Washington 11.5-2-37-0, Bravo 3-0-16-0 (nb-1), Gayle 7-1-35-0, W. Hinds 1-0-12-0, Deonarine 8-1-29-0.


Telford Vice
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