Graeme Smith stroked a fluent 13th Test century to keep South Africa on top in the third and final Test against West Indies yesterday. With the series level at 1-1, South Africa were 213 for 1, a lead of 74 runs after they had bowled out the tourists for 139, when bad light ended play 10 overs early on the first day.
Smith reached 122 not out, sharing an unbroken stand of 160 with Hashim Amla (55 no) to record South Africa's highest second-wicket partnership against West Indies. The recalled seamer Shaun Pollock led the home side's attack, taking 4 for 35.
"The cloud cover in the morning made the ball swing and that helped us," Pollock said. "We had the better of the conditions. If we hadn't made early inroads it could have been tough work for us."
The fast bowler Dale Steyn made the initial breakthrough when he had Daren Ganga caught by Smith at first slip for three. Pollock struck for the first time by trapping Runako Morton in front for one.
Later, the pace bowler Makhaya Ntini struck in consecutive overs to have Marlon Samuels caught behind by Mark Boucher for six and Shivnarine Chanderpaul snapped up by Jacques Kallis for a duck.
South Africa wrapped up the innings in the ninth over after lunch with Andre Nel having Darren Sammy (25) caught by Smith at first slip and Pollock completing his haul when Fidel Edwards (0) edged to Boucher.
Smith and Gibbs started South Africa's reply with a stand of 53 that was ended when Daren Powell bowled Gibbs (27) off the bottom edge. Smith and Amla then steadied the ship and by the close they were in fluent form against an increasingly weary attack.