Hinds and Chanders blaze SA

A wonderful hundred from Wavell Hinds powered the West Indies to an unexpectedly good position at the end of the first day of the first Test against the touring South Africans. Hinds reached his fifth Test century from 133 balls and reached stumps at 188 not out, having hit 30 fours and 2 sixes.

He was not the only man of the moment, as first-time captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul (102 not out) gained the rare distinction of a century in his first Test innings at the helm. He got consecutive boundaries off Charl Langeveldt to bring up the milestone in the darkness, before walking off for bad light immediately after. It was Chanderpaul’s third consecutive hundred at Bourda.

Against the odds, the West Indies closed in a commanding position – 347/3. The finish was against anything that was predicted at the start, granted the severe turbulence leading into the game.

In the midst of a massive contract dispute, the home side featured two debutants and a new captain. Shivnarine Chanderpaul won the toss and elected to bat first on the flat Bourda surface. His decision quickly looked uneasy, with the dismissals of Devon Smith (11) and Daren Ganga (0) in the space of an over from Andre Nel.

Nel was the only successful bowler for the South Africans on the day, as the bowling was largely unimpressive on a very much unresponsive pitch. Nel bowled for 18-6-50-3, but the West Indies went along at 4.29 runs per over against the tourists.

On debut, right-hander Donavan Pagon came to crease at 24/2, following the dismissal of Ganga. He witnessed Hinds dropped on 13 by Gibbs in the gully, but was not perturbed and instead played positively on his way to a very impressive 35. The innings included some 7 boundaries and lasted 72 balls, but was terminated with a miscued shot off a Nel slower ball – caught by Kallis at short cover.

Chanderpaul came to the crease to a huge ovation from his home crowd. He took a couple of overs to settle in, but was off the mark with a supremely-timed straight drive off the back foot. It was a sign of things to come and he increased his momentum with time in the middle. Hinds and Chanderpaul took the West Indies to tea at 186/3.

After resuming, the South Africans were made to toil once more. Runscoring became easier for the West Indians and were scored faster, with the bowling falling away to mediocrity. The slow and dead pitch at Bourda continued to frustrate South Africa, but played a big hand in the Caribbean team’s strong stance.

The captaincy of Graeme Smith bemused throughout the day. Nicky Boje was hit for 21 runs from his first 2 overs, but was perhaps peculiarly kept from the bowling crease but for 5 more overs in the day. Meanwhile a seemingly unfit Jacques Kallis was persisted with on his way to an 8-over stint, through which he surrendered 14 boundaries.

There was a brief delay due rain after lunch, and the South African over rate was chronically slow, but 80.5 overs were bowled in the day. The fourth wicket partnership between Hinds and Chanderpaul will resume on the second day at 241.

Score Summary:

West Indies 1st innings 347/3 (80.5 overs)
WW Hinds 188 not out, S Chanderpaul 102 not out, DJ Pagon 35
A Nel 3/50

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