Smith and de Villiers dominate
29 Apr 2005
By: Alex Feeney
A rain interrupted first day of the Test between South Africa and the West Indies in Antigua has seen the Proteas reach 214 without loss. Both Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers notched up unbeaten centuries in an assertive batting display.
After winning the toss, Smith had no hesitation in deciding to bat on a flat Antigua Recreation Ground pitch. The torture began early for the Windies as de Villiers began dispatching balls to all areas of the field, allowing no bowler to settle into a rhythm. Smith was solid at the other end and before the home side knew it, the pair had reached their century partnership in just the 22nd over.
Brian Lara could do nothing but watch as all his bowlers were handled with ease. Even more frustrating was the fact that two fairly easy run out chances were missed. Wavell Hinds missed the stumps with an underarm throw 5 metres from the wickets and later Narsingh Deonarine fumbled a simple effort next to the stumps, both times Smith would have been found out of his crease.
The opening pair brought up their impressive 200-run partnership in the 46th over. Both reached their centuries soon after. Smith with a solid straight drive down the ground off Chris Gayle to reach his third consecutive hundred and de Villiers with a feather down the leg-side just one over later to post his second consecutive hundred.
The onslaught was then, much to the delight of the West Indians, halted due to rain and bad light. Only 48.5 overs were possible today and as a result play will begin half an hour early tomorrow morning. Unfortunately for the South Africans, rain is forecast for the remainder of the Test match, all but ruling out the possibility of a result coming from the lifeless pitch.
Progress Score: Stumps - Day 1
214/0 (Smith 106*, de Villiers 103*)
1 Chris Gayle, 2 Wavell Hinds, 3 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 4 Brian Lara, 5 Shivnarine Chanderpaul (c), 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Narsingh Deonarine, 8 Courtney Browne (wk), 9 Tino Best, 10 Daren Powell, 11 Dwight Washington.
1 Graeme Smith (c), 2 AB de Villiers, 3 Boeta Dippenaar, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 Herschelle Gibbs, 6 Ashwell Prince, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Nicky Boje, 9 Shaun Pollock, 10 Monde Zondeki, 11 Makhaya Ntini.