Windies 96 for 4 at stumps on day 3

Chanderpaul and Gayle held the key to West Indian hopes after they lost four wickets while eking out a slender lead in the 2nd Test against South Africa.

updated: January 05, 2008 17:25 IST
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Shivnarine Chanderpaul and captain Chris Gayle held the key to West Indian hopes after their team lost four wickets while eking out a slender lead on the third day of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands on Friday.

The West Indies were 96 for four in their second innings at the close, a lead of 18.

Chanderpaul, who batted for almost six hours in making an unbeaten 65 in the first innings, was not out on eight, while Gayle, batting with a runner, was on one.

"We're still in the game," said West Indies coach John Dyson.

"We've got Chanderpaul and Gayle still at the crease with (Dwayne) Bravo to come."

Dyson said any target over 100 could prove difficult.

"I've played in a Test match where we've chased 132 and lost. With anything over 100 funny things can happen."

Ashwell Prince, who top-scored for South Africa with 98, acknowledged that Gayle in particular could be dangerous.

"They've got a few quality players but we're confident," he said.

Gayle did not open the batting because he was receiving treatment for a hamstring injury.

Although he had been a doubtful starter for the first Test because of the same injury, he was allowed to bat with a runner because the umpires ruled that he was fit going into the game and had therefore suffered the injury during play.

Gayle's place at the top of the order was taken by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin, who put on 59 for the first wicket with Daren Ganga.

The partnership took the West Indies to within 19 of wiping out their first innings deficit and raised hopes that the tourists, who lead the three-match series 1-0, could set a challenging target.

But four wickets fell for 34 runs as the South African bowlers applied pressure with accurate bowling on a pitch on which scoring runs has been difficult.

Prince was mainly responsible for South Africa taking a first innings lead of 78, falling two short of a century when he was the ninth man dismissed, run out attempting a risky second run to Jerome Taylor at third man.

"I thought I had played the ball squarer than it was and immediately set off for two," he said.

"Looking at the replay I can see it went finer than I thought."

Prince and Mark Boucher (59) put on 129 for the sixth wicket to put the home side ahead.

"We needed a partnership and the longer it went on the more we tried to pick up the intensity," he said.

Prince batted for 302 minutes and faced 224 balls, hitting 11 fours.

Running out of partners, he gave two chances before he was finally out.

On 90 he gave a sharp return chance to Daren Powell and one run later he swung Dwayne Bravo to deep backward square leg. Runako Morton ran from long leg and dived but could not hold a difficult chance.

Bravo finished with four for 82.

Ramdin and Ganga could only score three runs off the bat in the first 11 overs of the second innings with Andre Nel in particular beating both batsmen several times.

Makhaya Ntini bowled five successive maidens from the other end.

The frustration for the South African bowlers ended when Ramdin edged Jacques Kallis to wicketkeeper Mark Boucher for 32 after the openers had batted for 108 minutes and 158 balls.

Dale Steyn, who batted with a runner because of a right hamstring strain, was able to bowl. Despite not hitting his top speed, he had Runako Morton caught behind for a single in the next over.

Ntini bowled a patient Daren Ganga for 22 and Nel was finally rewarded for some hostile bowling when he trapped Marlon Samuels leg before for 18.

Nel, who opened the bowling instead of Steyn, finished the day with one for 14 from 15 overs.