Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 3rd 2015 Contents CAPE TOWN---Captain Denesh
Ramdin stroked his first half-cen-
tury in just over a year and rookie
Jermaine Blackwood was eyeing
his third in five Test outings, as
West Indies produced a gallant
fightback against world number
one South Africa yesterday.
At the close on the opening day
of the third and final Test, West
Indies were 276 for six, with Black-
wood unbeaten on 45 and Jason
Holder not out on five.
Ramdin perished for 53 about half-
hour before the close, after putting
on 94 for the sixth wicket with
The partnership was critical after
the tourists, perched on 172 for four
at tea, lost veteran left-hander Shiv
Chanderpaul without adding to his
tea time score of nine, to the first
ball after the break.
However, Ramdin struck six fours
off 103 balls in 113 minutes at the
crease while Blackwood has so far
counted five fours off 102 deliveries,
as they denied the South African
attack any major success in the final
session at Newlands.
Debutant off-spinner Colin
Harmer has been the best bowler
with three for 67 while fast bowler
Dale Steyn has taken two for 59.
Earlier, Leon Johnson struck his
second Test half-century but Marlon
Samuels missed out on one, as West
Indies suffered key setbacks during
the second session.
The left-handed Johnson, unbeat-
en on 24 at lunch with West Indies
on 80 for two, scored 54 before
falling lbw to Harmer about 50 min-
utes after the resumption.
He faced 84 balls in 109 minutes
and struck nine fours, adding 51 with
Samuels who made 43 before gifting
his wicket, 15 minutes before tea.
Looking at ease against the South
African attack, Samuels gave Stiaan
van Zyl his first wicket in Tests when
he lazily drove the first ball of the
part-time medium pacer s first over
to Faf du Plessis at cover.
Samuels faced 70 deliveries in 109
minutes and counted six fours.
Johnson had earlier added 50 for
the second wicket with opener
Devon Smith who made 47 before
falling on the stroke of lunch, bowled
Smith and Kraigg Brathwaite, who
made just seven, put on 30 for the
first wicket after West Indies won
the toss and opted to bat, making
good headway against the hosts new
ball attack of Steyn and seamer Ver-
The left-handed Smith started
positively, driving Steyn to the cover
boundary and pulling him square
for another four, in the fifth over of
Brathwaite cut Philander to the
point boundary in the day s tenth
over but departed four overs later
when he edged Steyn to Dean Elgar
at gully as he pushed hard off the
Smith and Johnson then
impressed with an enterprising
stand. Johnson got off the mark with
a pull for four off Steyn but it was
Smith who took centre stage, punch-
ing Steyn sweetly past mid-off and
following up in the next over from
Morkel with another attractive drive
to the cover boundary.
He was in sight of his sixth Test
half-century when he attempted to
cut one too close to him off the last
ball before lunch, and was bowled
Smith hit eight fours off 86 balls
in two hours at the crease.
Johnson, who had gathered two
boundaries off Hamer s third over
prior to lunch, made good progress
after the break in tandem with
He pulled Steyn for four and
repeated the shot against Philander
to move into the 40s.
When Harmer was re-introduced,
he greeted him with a drive to the
cover ropes, to raise his half-centu-
ry.Johnson was growing in confi-
dence when he was trapped lbw to
Harmer at 131 for three and Samuels
added 31 with a sedate Chanderpaul
before falling with a half-century
When Chanderpaul was stumped
down the leg-side off the first ball
after tea, West Indies had lost three
wickets for 41 runs and in danger
of the now familiar collapse.
However, Ramdin and Blackwood
repelled the Proteas attack, to haul
West Indies back into the game. The
right-handed Ramdin got off the
mark with a streaky boundary to
third man off Harmer before taking
two successive boundaries off Morkel
behind square on the off side.
He was unbeaten on 38 at the final
drinks break and boundaries off
Harmer and Philander took him to
49 before a couple to cover saw him
to 12th Test half-century.
Disappointingly, he fell four overs
later, getting a leading edge back to
Steyn off the bowler s second ball
of a new spell.
The 23-year-old Blackwood, on
seven at tea, survived a difficult
chance to wicketkeeper AB de Villiers
off Harmer on 13 in the fifth over
after the break, but made the most
of the opportunity. (CMC)
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, January 3, 2015
Ramdin, Blackwood inspire Windies fightback
Even West Indies best day in the
series so far did not leave them fully
satisfied after they took steps for-
ward but failed to make the final
leap in an ongoing exercise in
After not managing a single indi-
vidual score of at least 40 in the first
Test, followed by the two centuries
that propped up a batting collapse
in the second, West Indies had con-
tributions throughout the line-up
on the first day of the third Test.
They saw out the day after Denesh
Ramdin asked his men to lay down
a marker by batting first.
Ramdin s previous two victories
of the coin have served to save West
Indies from the South African attack
at their hungriest---the first morning
of a match.
His third was braver. On what
Leon Johnson, one of the two half-
centurions, called a "pretty flat pitch
with not a lot of moisture in it",
Ramdin was willing to front up first
and test his line-up against the best
in the business.
For the best part of the day, they
did. Kraigg Brathwaite and Devon
Smith saw off the new ball and
negotiated the early danger, when
the ball threatened to graze the bat
almost every time it went past.
Smith settled in and should have
gone on to stay there all day. In a
hurry to reach a half-century, how-
ever, he played a shot he should not
have attempted, particularly on the
ball before lunch.
Johnson dug in with a bit more
grit but was fooled by a Simon
Harmer slider. Marlon Samuels dug
in with a bit more defiance but was
frustrated by a dry period. Ramdin
dug in with a sense of responsibility
and shouldered it until the second
new ball. All three could have gone
on to something more and that
tinged West Indies day with regret.
"We can t be totally happy with
guys not carrying on but as a team
we re happy," Johnson said. "It s the
first time we batted out 90 overs in
the series. We showed the kind of
fight that we ve been talking about."
West Indies faced 60.2 and 42.3
overs in the first Test and had been
at the crease for 79 in the second
when no further play was possible,
so lasting a day could be seen as a
mark of progress. But they also
regressed. After going from no fifties
in the first Test to two hundreds in
the second, the issue of longevity
cropped up again on the first day in
"When guys get in to 30s and 40s,
there seem to be some concentration
problems and little lapses," Johnson
said. And he thinks there is nothing
that can really be done about that
unless the individuals concerned do
it for themselves: "We ve done a lot
of work technically but not a lot of
work mentally. Mental preparation
for cricket is something you do by
yourself and you improve as you go
With inexperience still threading
its way through West Indies, only
more time will improve their tem-
For now, they have a more pressing
task. Having chalked up a score fairly
close to the first-day average of 272
for seven at this venue, they are very
much in the game but need the tail
to wag more vigorously then it has
done so far.
"We always thought we would get
between 350 and 400. The batters
to come are very capable as well,"
West Indies lengthened their line-
up by including Jermaine Blackwood
in place of Kenroy Peters and so far,
he seems to have justified the selec-
More important than his overnight
score of 45 is that he has faced 102
balls and seems to be ushering the
tail through the second new ball and
into the best batting period at New-
If West Indies last beyond lunch
on day two, they may yet find reason
to be completely pleased at the end.
West Indies rue batting lapses
West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels came out to play his stroke sagainst
South Africa on the first day of the third Test in Cape Town yesterday. He
scored 43. PHOTO: GALLO IMAGES
South Africa vs West Indies
-- 1st day, 3rd Test
WEST INDIES 1st innings
K Brathwaite c Elgar b Steyn 7
D Smith b Harmer
L Johnson lbw b Harmer
M Samuels c du Plessis
b van Zyl
S Chanderpaul st de Villiers
J Blackwood not out
D Ramdin c and b Steyn
J Holder not out
Extras (lb3, w8, nb2)
TOTAL (6 wkts, 90 overs) 276
To bat: J Taylor, S Benn, S Gabriel.
Fall of wickets: 1-30, 2-80, 3-131, 4-
162, 5-172, 6-266.
Bowling: Steyn 21-5-59-2,
Philander 16-2-54-0, Morkel 18-1-
74-0, Harmer 25-5-67-3, van Zyl 8-
1-2-13-1, Elgar 2-0-6-0.
D Elgar, A Petersen, F du Plessis, H
Amla, AB de Villiers, T Bavuma, S
van Zyl, V Philander, D Steyn, M
Morkel, S Harmer.
Toss: West Indies.
Umpires: Aleem Dar, P Reiffel
TV umpire -- B Bowden.
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