Chanderpaul steady as ever defies South African attack
by AFP

Ground:Newlands, Cape Town
Scorecard:South Africa v West Indies
Player:MN Samuels, S Chanderpaul, M Ntini, DW Steyn
Event:West Indies in South Africa 2007/08

DateLine: 3rd January 2008


Shivnarine Chanderpaul made a typically patient half-century to anchor a shaky West Indian innings on the first day of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands Wednesday.


The West Indies, leading the three-match series 1-0, were 240 for eight at the close, with Chanderpaul unbeaten on 64.


Chanderpaul and Marlon Samuels (51) put on 106 for the fourth wicket but the dismissal of Samuels started a slump in which five wickets fell for 54 runs.


Makhaya Ntini took two wickets in successive overs before fellow fast bowler Dale Steyn struck three times with the second new ball to put South Africa on top at the end of a cool, overcast day.


Chanderpaul, who batted for 398 minutes to make 104 in the first Test in Port Elizabeth, played another marathon innings.


It took him 254 minutes and 184 balls to reach his half-century and by the close he had batted for 297 minutes and faced 214 deliveries. He hit six boundaries.


Steyn took four for 60, while Ntini claimed two for 63.


Samuels admitted: "It's not the target we set out to get but we are still on track, knowing that Shiv as a set batter is still there."


Samuels said a slow outfield made the score better than it appeared.


"The outfield took a lot of runs away from us. It's not often we play on an outfield so thick. We played a lot of shots that could have gone for four but we only got two runs for them."


Recalled South African batsman Neil McKenzie said the bowlers had come back well after the stand between Samuels and Chanderpaul.


McKenzie - playing in his first Test for three-and-a-half years after being picked as an opening batsman to replace Herschelle Gibbs - said the spongy outfield made it difficult for bowlers.


"It was hard work for the bowlers running in. Their speeds weren't quite as quick as they normally are because it was quite heavy underfoot."


McKenzie said South Africa wanted to press home their advantage.


"It looks like a really good pitch so we will look to bat big and bat big once," he said.


Samuels and Chanderpaul came together before lunch when the tourists were 77 for three after winning the toss. They were not separated until Ntini had Samuels caught behind after tea.


It was in contrast to the aggressive batting earlier of captain Chris Gayle, who hit 46 off 49 balls and put on 59 off only 66 balls in a second wicket stand of 59 with Runako Morton.


Samuels and Chanderpaul were particularly watchful immediately after lunch when Steyn and Ntini both bowled well without being able to make a breakthrough.


"South Africa came with a plan to starve us as much as possible, to bowl outside off stump and not give away any runs. They kept it tight so we had to be patient," said Samuels.


Samuels took 28 balls to score his first run and was dropped on two when he mistimed a drive against Ntini, with the bowler unable to hold a sharp chance above his head and to his right. He made his 51 off 144 balls with seven fours.


Gayle, who looked awkward in running between wickets after appearing to suffer a recurrence of the hamstring injury which kept him out of action for almost four weeks before he led the side to a 128-run win in the first Test in Port Elizabeth, hit two sixes and two fours in a 49-ball innings.


Both his sixes were off Ntini - an audacious straight hit and a pulled six over midwicket despite a fielder being placed just inside the boundary. Ntini conceded 32 runs in his first spell of six overs but then gave away only another 27 runs in 15 more overs as well as taking two wickets.


Gayle fell shortly before lunch to a diving catch by McKenzie at gully off Andre Nel.

(Article: Copyright © 2008 AFP)