Rhodes and Pollock put South Africa on top

11 December 1998

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa, Dec 11 (AFP) - Jonty Rhodes and Shaun Pollock restored South Africa's advantage at the end of a day of tumbling wickets on the second day of the second Test against the West Indies at St George's Park here on Friday.

South Africa seemed to have taken a firm grip on the match when West Indies were shot out for 121 but the home side were rocked by fearsome fast bowling by veterans Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose as they crashed to 53 for five in their second innings.

By the close, however, Rhodes and Pollock had taken the total to 143 without further loss, an overall lead of 267.

Rhodes made the only half-century of the match off 66 balls as he and Pollock shared an unbeaten sixth wicket stand of 90 in 84 minutes.

West Indian captain Brian Lara's pre-match comment that it was a match between two teams with good bowling and vulnerable batting was borne out as bowlers dominated on a grassy pitch. Seventeen wickets fell for 196 runs before the partnership between Rhodes and Pollock.

Pollock was the main destroyer for South Africa, taking 5-43. He had excellent support from David Terbrugge (3-27) and Allan Donald (2-33).

The 21-year-old Terbrugge, playing in only his second test, ripped out three top batsmen for four runs in his first 7.3 overs, while Donald claimed the key wicket of Lara, who was caught at first slip for four off a ball which reared sharply off the pitch.

In a sorry West Indian batting performance, it took bold hitting by opener Stuart Williams and tailender Nixon McLean to post the only respectable scores.

Williams, dropped off a half-chance to third slip off Allan Donald on nought, opened his score with a hooked six off the same bowler and played several streaky shots in an innings of 37.

The left-handed McLean went on an old-fashioned slog, hitting four sixes in scoring 31 off only 12 balls.

Terbrugge's figures were spoilt by McLean, who hit him for two sixes, and the tailender also hit Pollock and Donald for sixes before driving Donald to mid-on where Hansie Cronje held the catch.

South Africa's second innings started shakily when makeshift opener Herschelle Gibbs failed again, pushing Ambrose to short leg after scoring four, while Gary Kirsten fell for two to a fine diving catch by wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs off Walsh.

Skipper Cronje set about rebuilding the South African innings and hooked Ambrose for a six and a four in one over before being run out for the second time in the match.

He fell to a direct hit from cover, with Shivnarine Chanderpaul repeating Floyd Reifer's feat of the first innings. The difference was that this time it was not Cronje, who became the first South African to complete 1,000 test runs in a calendar year, who called for the run but his partner Rhodes.

West Indies' reliance on Ambrose and Walsh was shown up as Rhodes and Pollock scored freely against the other bowlers, posting a fifty stand in 52 minutes off 74 balls and spurning an offer to leave the field because of bad light before eventually going off with 11 overs still to be bowled.

Earlier, South Africa added 22 runs in losing the last two wickets of their first innings. Pat Symcox and Donald took their ninth wicket stand to 66, the best of the innings, before the 38-year-old Symcox played across a ball from McLean and was bowled for the top score of the innings, 36.

Donald made his Test best score of 34 before edging Walsh to second slip where Hooper held his fourth catch of the innings.

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