WITH THE ebullient Jonty Rhodes to the fore and in spite of Franklyn Rose's inspired fast outswing bowling, South Africa consolidated their advantage on the second day of the third Test yesterday.
Rhodes entered to the usual rapturous reception from a home-town crowd of more than 14,000 with the innings at the crossroads at 140 for 4, answering the inadequate West Indies' 198 of the first day. Typically all action from the start, he dominated successive partnerships of 42 with Daryll Cullinan and 80 with Shaun Pollock that guaranteed South Africa a healthy lead.
At 292 for 8, the lead was 94, with Rhodes unbeaten on 85 and two wickets still intact, when the umpires Dave Orchard and Russell Tiffin halted play 12.4 overs ahead of schedule. It was an incongruous decision under floodlights that were in use since 25 minutes after lunch for the second successive grey, overcast day.
Only Rose, the 26-year-old Jamaican who was fast becoming the forgotten man of West Indies cricket, restrained the South Africans. In his first Test of the series, he disposed of the openers Herschelle Gibbs and Gary Kirsten, and Jacques Kallis, in an exemplary morning spell of 11 successive overs for 30 runs.
Whenever the situation seemed to be slipping completely out of their grasp, Rose intervened for the West Indies. His whistling return to the wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs from third man ran out the dangerous Cullinan for 40 as he attempted a second run and, with Rhodes and Pollock entrenched, he returned to strike three times with the second new ball.
Carl Hooper's breathtaking catch at second slip accounted for Pollock for 30, the keeper Mark Boucher lost his off-stump to an unstoppable late outswinger three balls later and Pat Symcox was bowled off his pads just as Orchard was raising his finger for lbw.
For almost three hours, Rhodes dictated terms. He came in when the captain Hansie Cronje was bowled by Courtney Walsh for 30 half an hour after lunch and immediately counter-attacked and, by the close, had two sixes and eight fours. He was especially harsh on Curtly Ambrose, who had a rare off-day. Twice he pulled him on to the grass banks at square-leg, taking 16 off an over, and he gained another four from an embarrassing Ambrose misfield.
Second day; South Africa won toss
WEST INDIES - First innings 198 (B C Lara 51).
SOUTH AFRICA - First innings
(Overnight: 46 for 0)
G Kirsten c Hooper b Rose 26
H H Gibbs c Wallace b Rose 35
J H Kallis c Jacobs b Rose 11
D J Cullinan run out 40
*W J Cronje b Walsh 30
J N Rhodes not out 85
S M Pollock c Hooper b Rose 30
M V Boucher b Rose 0
P L Symcox b Rose 12
A A Donald not out 1
Extras (b4 lb5 nb12 w1) 22
Total (for 8) 292
To bat: D J Terbrugge.
Fall: 1-57 2-79 3-80 4-140 5-182 6-262 7-262 8-284.
Bowling: Ambrose 17-1-60-0 (nb10); Walsh 27-6-60-1 (nb2); Rose 25.2-6- 75-6 (w1); Lewis 20-2-70-0; Hooper 4-0-18-0.
Umpires: D L Orchard and R B Tiffin (Zim).