Tuesday, January 1, 2008

South Africa v West Indies, 2nd Test, Cape Town

The Windies looked good in the first Test. Shivnarine Chanderpaul grabbed a century and while he is a far cry from Brian Lara, he is filling the void that Lara's retirement left, at least for now. Marlon Samuels was surprising and impressive, and if he continues his current level of play he will give South Africa problems. The Windies have fallen on hard times, and that is putting it nicely. 2007 was horrendous. Their performance at home in the World Cup was disappointing not only to their fans, but fans of cricket in general. So it was a refreshing turn of events when they grabbed their first test win in over a year and a half. Towards the end it looked as if the Windies would fold when South Africa made a strong charge, but a nice performance form the Windies bowlers, especially Fidel Edwards sealed the victory. The West Indies need the same offensive output they had in their first innings of the earlier Test, and their bowling needs to watch themselves, especially as the match draws to a close. South Africa has been able to jam themselves up early in a series, only to come back and take it in the end. The Windies need to keep their composure, not rest on the laurels of their victory if they want to start 2008 with a much needed series victory. A win like that will boost their confidence, and the cricket world can welcome the return of the Windies to top level play.

Probable starters:

South Africa 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Neil McKenzie, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 Ashwell Prince, 6 AB de Villiers, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Shaun Pollock, 9 Paul Harris, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Makhaya Ntini

West Indies 1 Chris Gayle (capt), 2 Daren Ganga, 3 Runako Morton, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Jerome Taylor, 10 Daren Powell, 11 Fidel Edwards

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