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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 December 2007, 16:05 GMT
Samuels stars as Windies battle
First Test, Port Elizabeth (day one, close): W Indies 281-4 v S Africa

Marlon Samuels
Samuels finished six runs short of his second Test century
West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels narrowly missed a century after they were sent in to bat by South Africa on the first day of the first Test.

Samuels was superbly held by Jacques Kallis at second slip off Dale Steyn for 94, three overs before his side closed on 281-4 in Port Elizabeth.

Despite a hamstring injury, Chris Gayle led the visitors for the first time in a Test, and made 66 off 49 balls.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul had reached a watchful 43 not out at the close.

South Africa fielded an unchanged team for the fifth successive Test match, and captain Graeme Smith opted to give the Windies first use of a wicket that looked to have some moisture on it.

It needed a few words from Andre Nel to hype me up even more

Marlon Samuels

Gayle, who only decided to play shortly before the match after testing his hamstring problem with some light jogging, hit 13 fours as he took up the attack early on.

But after he and Daren Ganga had added 98 for the first wicket, they both fell within the space of three balls as Ganga was caught behind off Andre Nel for 33 and Gayle gave Kallis his first slip catch of the innings when he tried to attack left-arm spinner Paul Harris.

Runako Morton and Samuels saw them through to lunch, but as the scoring rate slowed during the afternoon, Morton was caught by Ashwell Prince at backward point off Makhaya Ntini, also for 33.

Only 60 runs were added between lunch and tea, but with the obdurate Chanderpaul joining the flashier Samuels, the pair added 111 for the fourth wicket.

606: DEBATE
Soulberry

Samuels, whose 94 came off 195 balls, had looked set for his second Test century after surviving two "catches" in the slips off no-balls from the speedy Steyn.

But he was dismissed in the first over of the second new ball when he drove at a wide one from Steyn and Kallis leapt to take the catch.

Chanderpaul had reached 43 off 128 balls at the close, which came when he and new batsman Dwayne Bravo were offered the light.


  • West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels:
    "[Critics] have written us off, but we are a bunch of talented guys. We've come out here to play some hard cricket and give South Africa a good challenge.

    "Andre Nel is a very great personality off the field but on the field he is a warrior. But I'm a warrior as well and it needed a few words from him to hype me up even more."

  • South Africa coach Mickey Arthur:
    "A score of around 350 or 370 is par on this wicket.

    "We've got the new ball and the opportunity tomorrow. But what we do know now is that we are in a Test match."

    SEE ALSO
    Windies thrashed in Test warm-up
    21 Dec 07 |  Cricket
    Windies secure Twenty20 victory
    16 Dec 07 |  Cricket


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