• WI hit the ground running

    The West Indies dominated the first day of their three-day match against a SA Invitational XI in Benoni on Wednesday.

    Dominic Hendricks won the toss and elected to bat first, but he was back in the hut as early as the 10th over to leave the scoreboard reading 38-2. Stiaan van Zyl was in early and had a great opportunity to stamp his authority on the West Indian attack.

    The elegant left-hander looked in great touch and seemed to be on his way before falling victim to Jason Holder for a 24-ball 23. After the departure of Van Zyl, it became clear that it would be another left-handers day. Sheldon Cottrell was the man, as he claimed figures of 5-16 in just 6.1 overs.

    The South Africans couldn’t deal with the movement through the air and would have been really embarrassed had it not been for Clyde Fortuin and Aviwe Mgijima. They scored 34 and 35, respectively, to give the final score of 125 all out some respectability.

    In reply, the tourists appeared to be batting on a different surface. The fit again Rory Kleinveldt struck twice in an over to finish the day with figures of 2-34 in nine overs, but that was the only success the local boys tasted all afternoon as Devon Smith and Marlon Samuels took control.

    Smith is expected to take Chris Gayle’s spot at the top of the order in the Test series and he got his tour off to the perfect start. He carried his provincial form into the warm-up match, looking rock-solid on his way to an unbeaten 83 at stumps.

    At the other end, Samuels expressed himself in true Calipso style. He took no prisoners, smashing an undefeated 102-ball 103 to take the total to 217-2 at the close. The West Indies are 92 runs ahead with eight first innings wickets in hand and if day one is anything to go by, there could be a couple more tough days in the field for the hosts.

    Report compiled by Gareth Stevens.

    Photo: Backpagepix

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