St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Matches St George's Park - Windies Shock the Crowd with Fine Cricket - SA vs WI
Windies Shock the Crowd with Fine Cricket - SA vs WI
Alvin Reeves

Rain and bad light shorten first day of Test as visitors turn the tables at St George’s


There was almost a sense of disbelief among the 4 100 spectators at Sahara Oval St George’s yesterday as the touring West Indies dominated the opening day of the first Castle cricket Test against South Africa.

The West Indies have historically been poor tourists of this country, but yesterday proved different on a day shortened slightly by rain, and eventually bad light.

The Windies, buoyed by the return of their skipper Chris Gayle from injury, flayed the South African attack to all parts of the ground.

Gayle was particularly impressive. After a shaky start, the tall left-hander provided a master class in batting as he pounded the Proteas’ bowlers with some breathtaking strokeplay.

Even the partisan crowd had to sit back and admire one of the world’s most exciting batsmen as he tore into South Africa’s opening, and out-of-sorts, fast bowling pair of Dale Steyn and Makhaya Ntini with gay abandon.

Jamaican Marlon Samuels built on Gayle’s effort and produced a patient 94 to propel the tourists to 281 for four wickets by the close yesterday.

After 72 hours of solid rain in the Eastern Cape leading up to the Test, the weather played the game for most of the day apart from a short shower after tea that kept the players off the field for about 10 minutes.

The floodlights were turned on for most of the evening session, but bad light eventually had the final say with six overs remaining in the day’s play.

The Herald
December 27, 2007.

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