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Pollock century frustrates West Indies

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Mar 30 (AFP) - South African captain Shaun Pollock hit a century and shared a record ninth wicket stand with fellow fast bowler Allan Donald as the West Indies endured a frustrating second day of the third Test at Kensington Oval Friday.

Pollock hit 106 not out as South Africa, who had been sent in, reached 454 all out. It was the highest total in matches between South Africa and West Indies.

Left with four overs to bat out before close of play, West Indies scored seven for no wicket.

Pollock and Donald shared a stand of 132 for the ninth wicket, a South African record against the West Indies and the highest ninth wicket partnership in Test matches in Bridgetown.

West Indian captain Carl Hooper, who had criticised his team's fielding after the first day's play, saw two straightforward chances go down from both century-makers, Daryll Cullinan (134) and Pollock.

Cullinan's escape was relatively inexpensive, with the batsman adding only 12 more runs after offering a simple chance to Brian Lara at deep midwicket off Hooper.

Pollock was dropped when he had 45 when he steered Courtney Walsh to slip where Chris Gayle could not hold a regulation chance. The incident happened three balls after tea when the partnership with Donald was worth 56. The innings continued almost until close of play as Pollock decided to grind it out as long as possible.

It was Pollock's second Test century and his second in four matches after he made 111 against Sri Lanka at Centurion in January.

In both innings he batted at number nine. Friday he batted for four hours, faced 196 balls and hit 13 fours. He went from 75 to 100 in only 14 balls, including a burst of three successive boundaries against Mervyn Dillon.

For most of the day, though, the scoring was slow as two cautious partnerships were built on either side of a collapse in which three wickets fell for nine runs.

Cullinan and Nicky Boje took their overnight sixth wicket stand to 76 in 129 minutes, seeing off the second new ball, before Cullinan was caught and bowled by Dillon for 134.

Boje followed for 34 and Lance Klusener was out for a single, leaving the in-form Pollock with no recognised batsmen to help him prop up the lower order. There was near stalemate for more than an hour as Pollock turned down singles in an attempt to save Donald from the strike.

When he did face, however, Donald batted competently and he eventually received a reasonable share of the strike as he made a Test-best 37 before being caught by Hooper at slip off Walsh when Pollock was on 99.

The total made Hooper's decision to send South Africa in seem questionable.

The low point of a disappointing day for the West Indies was when Cullinan was dropped.

After his criticism Thursday, Hooper himself was the victim of the worst fielding error of the match when Cullinan skied the ball towards deep midwicket.

Lara was able to get in position but spilled the chance to jeers from spectators in the nearby Kensington stand, the cheapest and most popular area of the ground.

At that stage Cullinan and Boje were starting to get on top of the bowling but Dillon dismissed both shortly before lunch. He held a sharp return chance from Cullinan then had Boje caught at cover.

Walsh bowled Klusener soon after lunch but the West Indies' troubles were not over as Pollock and Donald built their record stand.

As the partnership grew, the West Indian fielding standards slid and a largely silent crowd voiced their displeasure several times when fielders failed to pick up cleanly.

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