Marlon Samuels was dismissed six runs short of a century as West Indies produced a resilient batting display on the first day of the first Test against South Africa here in Port Elizabeth yesterday. Samuels, who had enjoyed two let-offs, was out for 94, four overs before bad light forced play to end early with West Indies on 281 for 4.
Having scored 14 runs, Samuels edged a no-ball from the fast bowler, Dale Steyn, to Graeme Smith at first slip. Then on 23 he gloved a ball from Steyn to AB de Villiers at first slip. The umpire correctly ruled that Samuels had taken his hand off his bat before the ball struck his glove.
"I'm very disappointed to miss out on another century, and I've missed out on a few," said Samuels, who has scored one century in his 44 Test innings. Samuels faced 194 balls, which contrasted with Chris Gayle's whirlwind half-century that made South Africa rue their decision to put the tourists in to bat. Gayle, who was captaining West Indies for the first time in a Test, and Daren Ganga scored freely against a pace attack that wasted the new ball with an inconsistent line and length.
Andre Nel made the breakthrough when Ganga drove at a wide delivery and was caught behind. Two balls later, Gayle reached too far forward to the left-arm spinner Paul Harris in his first over, and edged to Jacques Kallis at slip.
Samuels and Runako Morton compiled a stand of 64 that was ended when Morton (33), checked a drive off Makhaya Ntini and was caught by Ashwell Prince at point. Samuels and Shivnarine Chanderpaul added 111 before the former drove at Steyn and was well caught by Kallis at second slip.