The West Indies edged 3 runs past South Africa’s 543-6, adding only 122 to their overnight score to limit the outcome of the second Test to a draw.
On a lifeless track the West Indian pair of Dwayne Bravo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul batted without intent – looking to play for a draw rather than press for runs. Despite being immovable, the pair added only 39 runs in the morning session.
The bowlers maintained a consistent line outside the off stump, and at times even threw the bait with fuller deliveries, inviting the drive. But the negativity of the hosts’ approach was unsurpassable – only two boundaries coming before lunch.
Paul Harris did little to draw the pair from their shells; his round the wicket line (coupled with a notable lack of turn) encouraged defensive play – Bravo happy to pad away his monotonous offerings. Graeme Smith gave Harris four men around the bat – a slip, forward short leg, silly mid-off and short fine leg – seemingly without cause; Harris bowling three wides down the leg side in one over to underline South African frustrations.
Harris took steps to redeeming his one dimensional performance with the scalps of both Chanderpaul and Bravo. Chanderpaul added only 15 to his overnight score, off 93 balls, when he spooned a catch back to the left-armer. Lanwabo Tsotsobe removed Denish Ramdin (1) cheaply before Bravo, having brought up his half-century off 176 balls just after lunch, was snaffled by Mark Boucher when he edged an attempted drive.
At 486-8, Ravi Rampaul (31) and Sulieman Benn (26) gave some life to the deadened encounter with a 59-run stand. Morne Morkel, who suffered most in their brief surge, claimed both with rising deliveries – Mark Boucher becoming the first wicket-keeper to reach 500 dismissals in the process.
With the day drawing to a close Smith and Alviro Petersen took to the crease to close out the day, seeing off an uneventful 11 overs.
Barring an unprecedented collapse, day five looks to hold little more than batting practice for the tourists – having already put on 23 in the final stages of the day and the pitch looking as unresponsive as ever.
South Africa (first innings) 543-6 declared
AB de Villiers 135*, Graeme Smith 132, Shane Shillingford 3-193
West Indies (first innings) 546 all out
Shivnarine Chanderpaul 166, Brendan Nash 114, Morne Morkel 4-116
South Africa (first innings) 23-0
Graeme Smith 13*, Alviro Petersen 8*
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