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Donald strikes for South Africa

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, March 18 (AFP) - South African fast bowler Allan Donald struck four crucial blows to prevent the West Indies from taking command on the second day of the second Test against the West Indies at the Queens Park Oval Sunday.

West Indies finished the day on 250 for seven, 36 runs behind South Africas first innings total of 286.

It left the match evenly poised, with three days left and every prospect that one team will gain a victory that will put them ahead in the five-match series.

It could have been better for the home side if Donald had not ended the efforts of four leading batsmen, all of whom were threatening to make a big score, including West Indian captain Carl Hooper, who looked in superb form and made 53 before falling victim to the second new ball.

Donalds first breakthough ended a second wicket stand of 70 between Wavell Hinds and Marlon Samuels when Samuels (35) edged a drive to third slip in Donalds first over after lunch.

He then had Hinds caught behind for 56.

He followed up by having Ramnaresh Sarwan caught at first slip for 34 after Sarwan and Hooper put on 75 for the fifth wicket. Donald finished the day with figures of four for 67.

Hinds looked surprised to be given out by Australian umpire Darrell Hair and replays suggested there was a gap between bat and ball as the left-hander pushed at a delivery outside the off-stump.

Hinds hit 12 fours in a 114-ball innings, almost all of them from hooks and pulls. In between playing some powerful strokes, Hinds survived several lbw appeals and could have been run out on 28 when, after a big appeal for lbw by Jacques Kallis, he set off for a run.

He was sent back and Gary Kirsten at cover missed the stumps from about 10m. Samuels was dropped before he scored when wicketkeeper Mark Boucher could not hold a low edge, diving to his right.

When Boucher later caught Hinds it was his 153rd dismissal, one more than the previous South African record set by Dave Richardson.

Star batsman Brian Lara received a noisy reception from his home crowd but made only 12 before edging a catch to second slip off Makhaya Ntini when he went for an extravagant drive.

Laras dismissal reduced about 20 000 spectators to silence for virtually the only time all day. Sarwan and Hooper tilted the game back towards the West Indies with skilful batting on either side of tea before Sarwan was out tamely, driving at a wide ball from Donald and edging the ball hard to Daryll Cullinan at first slip.

Hooper, meanwhile, was looking in top form in his second Test match since returning as captain following a retirement which lasted almost two years.

He made 69 and 35 in the drawn first Test in Georgetown, Guyana, and followed up with an untroubled innings Sunday.

Hooper reached his fifty when he drove Donald through the covers for three in the first over with the second new ball. He had batted for 157 minutes, faced 119 balls and hit five fours.

Donald was convinced he had Ridley Jacobs lbw with his next delivery when the wicketkeeper played across the ball and was struck low down on the pad in front of his stumps.

But umpire Hair was unmoved and Jacobs promptly hit the next ball through the covers for four.

Donald claimed an even more valuable wicket in his next over, however, when Hooper played across a ball which moved in slightly, striking him on his pad. This time Hair raised his finger to Donalds joy.

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