Proteas hit Windies roadblock

Basseterre: South Africa failed to make early inroads into West Indies` batting, after AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis gathered resolute hundreds to fortify their position in the second Test here.

The South Africans were hoping for a bag of early wickets, but West Indies captain Chris Gayle and fellow left-hander Narsingh Deonarine defied the Proteas` attack, as the home team reached 86 for one when bad light stopped play early on the second day at Warner Park yesterday.

De Villiers hit an undefeated 135 to top score for South Africa, and Kallis made 110, as the visitors declared on 543 for six in their first innings about 20 minutes after tea.

Morne Morkel gave the Proteas an early breakthrough, when Travis Dowlin was caught at third slip for 10 to leave West Indies 13 for one.

But the South Africans failed to make further headway, when Deonarine joined Gayle, and batted through the remainder of the evening under gloomy skies, even enduring a short stoppage for bad light.

Earlier, Kallis, who became the sixth batsman to score more than 11,000 runs in Tests, and de Villiers filled their troughs, as South Africa continued to plunder easy runs, after they continued from their overnight total of 295 for three.

Kallis reached his 35th Test hundred from 217 balls, when he cut Sulieman Benn through backward point for the 11th of his 12 fours.

He also struck one six from 227 balls in just over six hours before he was caught at deep backward square leg off Shane Shillingford, whose three wickets for 193 runs from 52 overs made him the most successful West Indies bowler.

De Villiers battled through after lunch with an upset tummy, which required him to leave the field for an unscheduled bathroom break that held up play for about 15 minutes.

He arrived at his 10th Test hundred from 130 balls, with the third of his six sixes over long-on off Benn. He also struck 13 fours from 158 balls in close to five hours of batting in total.

Kallis and de Villiers made full use of the modest West Indies attack operating on a hard, easy-paced pitch to put on 138 for the fourth wicket.

When Kallis was removed, South Africa lost left-hander Ashwell Prince caught at mid-wicket off Benn for nine, and Mark Boucher was run out for 17, when he failed to beat fine leg fielder Brendan Nash`s direct hit at the striker`s end, going for a single.

But Dale Steyn joined de Villiers, and they put on 53 - unbroken - for the seventh wicket either side of tea to further frustrate the West Indies bowlers, and hasten their side to the declaration.

Before lunch, Kallis had his extra special moment. He reached his 50 from 123 balls, when he swept Shillingford to fine leg for two runs, and then proceeded to establish himself in the ranks of the highest scorers in Tests.

Kallis reached the milestone, when he drove Ravi Rampaul through wide mid-on for his 10th four.

De Villiers was the perfect foil, with nimble footwork and crisp stroke-play the hallmark of his innings.

South Africa lead the three-Test series 1-0, after they won the first Test by 163 runs inside four days last Sunday at Queen`s Park Oval in Trinidad.



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