De Villiers turns the screw on West Indies

South Africa's second-wicket pair, AB de Villiers and Boeta Dippenaar, continued their slow, deliberate torment of the West Indies on the third day of the Third Test until a run-out in the last over before lunch brought relief to the home team.

South Africa's second-wicket pair, AB de Villiers and Boeta Dippenaar, continued their slow, deliberate torment of the West Indies on the third day of the Third Test until a run-out in the last over before lunch brought relief to the home team.

Dippenaar attempted a single to short-fine leg but was well short at the bowler's end when substitute Dwayne Smith's throw broke the stumps, It seemed the only way the West Indies could claim a wicket on a pitch reminiscent of those that made Kensington Oval a batting paradise in the 1950s and 1960s.

In his first match of the series, Dippenaar was on his way to the third hundred of the innings when dismissed for 71. De Villiers, the stylish 21-year-old right-hander in his eighth Test, carefully moved from his overnight 122 to 178 before edging Reon King to the wicketkeeper as South Africa advanced to 417 for 4 at tea. Herschelle Gibbs followed, caught at slip for eight.

After sharing an opening stand of 191 with his captain Graeme Smith, 104, on the previous day that set the platform for South Africa's commanding position, he took 23 balls over his first run of the day against accurate fast bowling by Daren Powell and Fidel Edwards, leaving Dippenaar to keep the score moving. Only a succession of diving saves at extra-cover by Dwayne Bravo denied both batsmen certain boundaries off the medium-pace of Reon King.

Once De Villiers and Dippenaar got through the first hour, carefully adding 34 off 13 overs, they increased the tempo as Powell and Edwards were rested. Bravo's five overs of medium-pace cost 21, off-spinner Chris Gayle was taken for 22 from his two overs and Dippenaar stepped out to hoist left-arm spinner Ryan Hinds for a straight six.

In contrast to last season's Test against England ,when a fast, bouncy pitch produced first innings totals of 226 and 224 and a second innings West Indies collapse to 94, conditions have reverted to those of an earlier, batsman friendly era. Only Brian Lara took advantage for the West Indies with his second masterpiece in successive Tests, 176 filled with breathtaking strokes in all directions.

But the loss of three wickets for 12 at the top of the order and the last five for 10 once Lara was dismissed by Andre Nel late with the second new ball late on the first day committed them to an inevitable struggle.

Eleven of the 13 Tests on the ground between 1948 and 1974 were high-scoring draws that included Pakistani Hanif Mohammed's 337 in 1958 that lasted 999 minutes, Test cricket's longest innings, Lawrence Rowe's 304 against England in 1974 and six other double hundreds.

To end the sequence, there was a deliberate policy to inject more life into the square in the 1970s and 1980s, an era that coincided with the emergence of the famously menacing West Indies fast bowlers.

It has reverted to its original state for this match and the use of the heaviest roller available between innings drew whatever little life existed.

It has proved hard work for an inexperienced West Indies attack in which no bowler has more than 40 wickets to his name. They toiled stoically but have been unable to make an impression on their focussed opponents who lead 1-0 in the series after their Second Test victory in Port-of-Spain.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor