Smith and De Villiers help to put South Africa in control

West Indies 296 South Africa 136-0

The South Africa captain, Graeme Smith, and A B de Villiers mounted a solid platform for South Africa after the fast bowlers Monde Zondeki and Andre Nel swept aside the last three West Indies wickets for four runs on the second day of the third Test yesterday.

On the best pitch of the series, hard with true even bounce, the left-handed Smith and the right-handed De Villiers were rarely troubled by their listless opponents or their puzzling tactics. They went to tea with their partnership worth 136, responding to the West Indies' 296 that would have been an embarrassment without Brian Lara's scintillating 176. At tea, Smith was 69 and De Villiers 65.

There were few alarms for the South African pair. The first ball of the innings, and the first from Fidel Edwards since his recovery from a back injury sustained on the tour of England last summer, was a fast yorker that went through Smith to miss off-stump by inches.

De Villiers would have been run out by a yard on 16, but Dwayne Bravo could not complete a slick piece of fielding at midwicket with a direct hit of the bowlers' stumps.

Smith was on 27 when Bravo's flying effort at cover just failed to make a catch off a drive during a lively spell by Edwards after lunch. Otherwise, the pair was untroubled by the unconventional bowling options and field placings of the West Indies captain, Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

He used medium-pacer Reon King in support of the pacy Edwards rather than the faster Daren Powell. Before tea, Edwards and Powell were not used together.

The West Indies resumed at 292 for 7 and their late order offered no resistance on resumption to a ball only nine overs old.

Monde Zondeki removed Powell in his first over and Edwards in his third and Andre Nel ended the innings when Courtney Browne was caught at long-leg off a hook shot. Nel's return was 4 for 56, Zondeki's 4 for 50.

* It has been confirmed that the Galle International Stadium in Sri Lanka will be rebuilt after it was destroyed by last December's tsunami.

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