SA snatch victory on rainy, dark day | india | Hindustan Times
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SA snatch victory on rainy, dark day

South Africa snatched victory between showers on the fifth day of the final Test against the West Indies on Tuesday.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2004 11:18 IST

South Africa snatched victory between showers on the fifth day of the fourth and final Test against the West Indies at Centurion Park Tuesday.

South Africa's ten-wicket win wrapped up a 3-0 series triumph.

Almost four hours of play was lost because of rain but South Africa were able to claim the last seven West Indies wickets for 85 runs before, with more rain threatening, they knocked off the 46 runs they needed in just 21 minutes off 3.4 overs.

Shaun Pollock took four wickets and bowled unchanged through three brief periods of play.

After claiming only one wicket in 64 overs Monday, when rain and bad light cut play, South Africa's hopes of completing the series with a win were re-ignited when they took three wickets in 22 balls before lunch. Two more wickets after lunch left the tourists precariously placed before the rain returned.

Finally, with a nominal 24 overs remaining, the players returned after tea and South Africa were able to wrap up the innings, although they had some anxious moments as Corey Collymore and Fidel Edwards put on 26 runs in 29 minutes for the last wicket, with an ever-increasing likelihood that bad light might stop play.

The floodlights were on throughout the day and were used on each of the five days of the match.

Play started 100 minutes late but man of the series Makhaya Ntini, armed with the second new ball, gave South Africa an ideal start when he had Chris Gayle (107) caught at gully with the last ball of the fifth over.

Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan put on a record 174 for the fourth wicket. Shaun Pollock trapped Sarwan leg before wicket in the next over for 119 before Ntini bowled Dwayne Smith for nought.

Sarwan equalled his previous highest Test score, made against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2002/03, before he went back on his stumps against Pollock, played across the line and was adjudged lbw by umpire Srinivas Venkataraghavan. Replays suggested the ball would probably have gone over the top of the stumps.

Smith tried an extravagant drive against Ntini and was bowled between bat and pad. He was Ntini's 29th victim of the series, equalling Pollock's record for most wickets in a series against the West Indies, set in a five-Test contest in 1998/99.

Pollock took both wickets after lunch, having Vasbert Drakes caught at gully and then trapping Ridley Jacobs leg before.

Tail-ender Mervyn Dillon took an aggressive approach and hit 29 with some bold strokes before he was caught at first slip off Pollock. Collymore and Edwards also attacked and Edwards slammed Pollock for six over midwicket before he was yorked by Andre Nel.

In poor light, with some raindrops falling, Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs went on all-out attack, with Smith scoring 21 off 17 balls and Gibbs eight off six.

Gibbs was caught on the long-on boundary by Dwayne Smith off Dillon but the fielder stepped on the boundary as he came down after leaping for the catch and six runs were awarded.

The match ended in farcical circumstances when two successive wides by Edwards went to the boundary, costing five runs each. The first went over wicketkeeper Jacobs' head and the second was fired down the leg-side.