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Prince hails world-class Steyn

Prince hails world-class Steyn

Steyn grabbed the wickets of Dale Richards, Narsingh Deonarine, and Chris Gayle in a devastating opening spell.

Bridgetown: South Africa's top-scoring batsman Ashwell Prince hailed strike bowler Dale Steyn for putting them in sight of victory against West Indies in the third and final Test.

Steyn grabbed the wickets of opener Dale Richards, left-hander Narsingh Deonarine, and West Indies captain Chris Gayle in a devastating five-over opening spell on Monday that wobbled West Indies, after they dismissed the South Africans for 346 to trail by 115 runs on first innings.

Prince was not altogether surprised that West Indies ran into early trouble against the lethal pace of the Proteas' strike bowler. "The time when it is hard to bat on this pitch is against the new ball," said left-hander Prince, whose unbeaten 78 was the top score in South Africa's first innings.

"He is a world-class bowler, so we are not surprised when he takes wickets. Then obviously when the spinners come on, it is tough as well. So, you have fun with the new ball, and then the spinners as they were going to be dangerous after the new ball."

Prince, like AB de Villiers the previous day, acknowledged that West Indies appeared more determined to win during this match that at any other time in the series.

"Being one down and wanting the win to draw the series level, they probably wanted to be a bit more aggressive in this match," he said.

"They are playing it hard out there, and we are playing it hard too, and that is the way Test cricket should be played."

Prince's knock lasting close to six hours in which time he struck just five boundaries from 262 balls held South Africa's innings together, as they suffered a lower-order batting collapse, losing their last four wickets for 34 runs in 89 balls.

"Obviously with the spinners bowling into the rough it was tough to score runs," he said. "Also with the ball being soft against the fast bowlers, it was hard to get the ball away."The pitch was a bit on the slow side... Sulieman Benn bowled well on it as well. He had good control, and did not bowl many bad balls. Bowling into the rough especially he bowled very well.

"What was in our favour was that we got them out quite early in terms of the match on day one, so even though we were not scoring runs freely, we had lots of time. As far as our game plan was concerned we were looking to bat as long as possible to build enough of a lead."

West Indies resume on 134 for seven on the fourth day with a lead of 19 and three second innings wickets standing.

first published:June 29, 2010, 17:09 IST