Smith century drives South Africa
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 19th June 2010
Graeme Smith finally made amends for his missed chances during the tour as he cracked a superlative century in the opening day of th second Test against West Indies. Smith never really looked in any sort of discomfort as he batted. Pace or spin nothing mattered really as the pitch was already dead to cause any sort of issues for the South African batsmen. Alviro Petersen made a fifty while Amla made a serene 44.
Jacques Kallis was unbeaten on 45 and giving him company was AB de Villiers who made seven. Before bad light intervened South Africa made 296 for the loss of three wickets.
Graeme Smith won the toss and elected to bat first thus condemning Gayle and co. to another relentless day on the ground. Pacers Roach and Rampaul were very much ineffective and Gayle had to introduce Benn by the sixth over of the day to go into damage control mode. Smith and his fellow opener played with equal authority. Petersen made a well paced fifty and was well within the sights of a second Test century when a moment of impetuosity resulted in his dismissal. He got out before lunch – which was taken 15 minutes early due to light rain.
Smith had reached 45 by the interval but by the next interval – tea, taken at 237 for 2 – he had moved to 107. By the end of the day when rain threatened throughout but never severely interrupted, South Africa had cruised to a commanding 296 for 3.
The nature of the pitch required that the West Indies devour any half chances which came their way. Smith benefited from two chances and both against the unlucky Shane Shillingford. When Smith was 79, Shivnarine Chanderpaul spilled him at square leg as the batsman swept. Then when he was 112, wicketkeeper, Denesh Ramdin, grassed an edge as Smith jabbed at a delivery which spun sharply across him. Post-Smith, there were no further casualties as Kallis and AB de Villiers (7) remained together when poor light brought a premature end to the day with four of the 90 overs short. With Kallis well set, de Villiers in and Ashwell Prince and Mark Boucher yet to appear, the Windies may yet spend another day in the field.