The West Indies finally turned up for the First Test here yesterday, a day late and with little option but damage limitation after their dismal performance on the opening day.
South Africa resumed in the all-but-invincible position of 363 for 3 and, although they lost their last seven wickets for 193 from 58 overs against altogether more disciplined bowling, they lost no actual ground. Their total of 561, the highest in the 12 Tests between the teams, left the West Indies with 31 overs to the close and another three difficult days to survive to prevent a telling defeat.
Their regular left-handed opening pair were separated by the torn hamstring sustained by Chris Gayle in the field on Friday that will restrict him to going in at No 7 with a runner.
They lost Wavell Hinds to a gully catch off the pacy bowling of Andre Nel for 10 but Daren Ganga, promoted from No 3, and Ramnaresh Sarwan batted through to the close at 87 for 1. After surviving several early alarms, Ganga had reached 49 and Sarwan 20.
South Africa's talisman on the first day had been Graeme Smith who marked his first home Test as captain with a dominant 132 reminiscent of his successive double centuries in the first two Tests in England last summer.
Jacques Kallis helped Smith in a third-wicket stand of 91 and took over the lead role once his captain was out. He started unbeaten on 87 and duly completed his 12th Test hundred with the solidity that has made him one of the modern game's most dependable batsmen.
But he and the other South Africans were made to fight all the way for their runs by bowling that was as unwavering as it had been wayward on the first day when they had helped themselves to two sixes and 50 fours.
Kallis spent six hours, 50 minutes and 297 balls in compiling his 158 before he was seventh out, bowled by Merv Dillon who was rewarded for his persistence with a ball that kept low and was diverted into the stumps from the bottom edge. A mistimed hook off the lively Fidel Edwards at 109 to which the leaping Dillon at mid-on just got his fingers was Kallis' only semblance of a chance.
Dillon set up the improved West Indies performance by claiming Martin van Jaarsveld lbw padding away the last ball of the day's first over after adding four to his overnight 69.
Mark Boucher made 27 and Shaun Pollock 30 but the West Indies were only shaken by a swashbuckling last-wicket stand of 41 between Robin Peterson and Makhaya Ntini.Reuse content