Third Test Match

West Indies v South Africa, 2000-01

Tony Cozier

At Bridgetown, March 29, 30, 31, April 1, 2. Drawn. Toss: West Indies.

As the prospect of defeat unexpectedly crept up on West Indies in the last session of the match, Dillon and Ramnarine resorted to blatant time-wasting. With seven wickets down and only Cuffy and Walsh to come, they stretched out the last five overs from Boje and Klusener for 25 minutes. Ramnarine called for on-field physiotherapy for a supposed hamstring strain, Dillon changed his boots, and there were other delays that brought a warning from umpire Bucknor.

Referee Mike Denness took no action after meeting the two players and team officials. But Pollock revealed that some senior West Indians had apologised to him. South African board president Percy Sonn called the tactics "a disgrace", and the West Indian board later issued a statement condemning them. It was an unsatisfactory end to a fluctuating contest featuring vital late-order hundreds from Pollock and Jacobs.

Sent in, South Africa lost Kirsten third ball and were 70 for three at lunch. Cullinan, who reached his 14th hundred - his second in successive Tests - before the close, and McKenzie stabilised the innings with a partnership of 149 in three hours, benefiting at times from inept West Indian fielding. Eventually Hooper called on Hinds, his stand-breaker of the Second Test, and again he obliged again: in his second over, McKenzie pulled a long hop into square leg's hands. Boucher went cheaply, but Cullinan and Boje batted through to the close and next morning carried their stand to 76. Cullinan was badly dropped by Lara at deep mid-wicket off Hooper at 122, but not long after gave a low return catch to Dillon. He had hit 15 fours, one all-run, in just over six hours. Boje followed one run later and South Africa were faltering at 315 for eight when Klusener failed again.

Pollock and Donald restored their advantage with a partnership of 132, doubling South Africa's ninth-wicket record against West Indies. Pollock, missed at slip off Walsh when 46, gave the lead, while Donald lent sensible support for three and a half hours, compiling his highest Test score. When Donald finally edged Walsh to second slip, Pollock was 99; he completed his hundred next ball with a single off Ramnarine and remained unbeaten after four hours, with 13 fours. Having gone 50 Tests before scoring his first hundred, he now had two in four matches.

To the noisy delight of a packed Saturday crowd, Lara and Hooper gave the West Indian reply substance after an uncertain start, stroking 17 fours between them as they added 116. Kallis shifted the balance once more by removing both, with Lara miscuing a pull to mid-on late in the day and Hooper caught behind next morning - at the end of an opening over interrupted for half an hour while the bowler's footmarks were repaired. Now, with West Indies still 202 runs behind, Jacobs emulated Pollock's role for South Africa. Reprieved by Cullinan at first slip, on 25 and 56, he was assisted by Dillon and Ramnarine in successive stands yielding 101, to which they contributed 20. He was 89 when Ramnarine was out but went to his maiden Test hundred - and West Indies' first against South Africa - with a top-edged hook off Ntini, his fourth six. Jacobs also struck 11 fours and remained unbeaten when Kallis wrapped up the innings with his sixth wicket.

West Indies' deficit was 67, but they had given themselves the chance of an unlikely victory when they reduced South Africa to 97 for six on the final morning. Once again, Cullinan and Pollock dashed their hopes by adding 70 over an hour and three-quarters. By the time Ramnarine removed Cullinan and Donald with successive balls, for his first five-wicket return in a Test innings, Pollock could declare with a lead of 264 and a minimum 36 overs remaining. Gayle lashed 11 fours in a 39-ball 48, but no one else reached double figures. As Boje and Klusener found turn on the worn pitch, the West Indians' slapdash approach to batting almost cost them the match. As it was, survival was guaranteed by gamesmanship at the expense of sportsmanship.
Man of the Match: D. J. Cullinan.

© John Wisden & Co