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West Indies set South Africa 306 to win in first Test

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, March 13 (AFP) - South Africa's batsman suffered an early scare as they launched their run-chase after being set a target of 306 to win by West Indies on the final day of the first Test here Tuesday.

Opener Herschelle Gibbs survived a dropped catch as South Africa reached lunch at 27 for no wicket off 10 overs at the Bourda ground.

Gibbs hit three boundaries to reach the interval on 21 not out. South Africa's total was 25 after six overs, raising the possibility of an exciting finish but only two runs were scored off the next four.

On a slow pitch, a draw seemed the most likely outcome.

The first of his fours came when Gibbs, on two, edged Mervyn Dillon at shoulder height just to the right of West Indian captain Carl Hooper at second slip. Hooper got both hands to the ball but could not hold it and the ball flew to the boundary.

Earlier, Ramnaresh Sarwan fell nine runs short of a maiden Test century when he was run out shortly before the West Indian declaration on 333.

Sarwan, 20, made the highest score by a West Indian in a Test against South Africa in reaching 91 before he was out as the batsmen sought to force the pace.

Sarwan fell victim to agile fielding by Gibbs at short fine leg. Sarwan had started for a run but was sent back by partner Ridley Jacobs.

Sarwan, one of three batsmen aged 21 or younger who made half-centuries for the West Indies during the Test, batted for 211 minutes, faced 181 balls and hit nine fours.

No West Indian has scored a century in seven Tests against South Africa, while seven hundreds have been made by South Africans.

Nixon McLean was sent in to bat but when he was dismissed lbw first ball by left-arm spinner Nicky Boje, Hooper signalled the declaration, leaving Jacobs unbeaten on a hard-hit 18 off 15 balls.

Hooper was the other batsman out during the morning. After scoring 35 he top-edged a cut against Boje and was caught by Daryll Cullinan running around to a deep gully position. Boje finished with three for 93.

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