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Gayle faces race to be fit for 1st Test

Port Elizabeth: Chris Gayle faces an anxious wait to discover whether he will be fit to captain the West Indies in the first Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

Gayle, who has missed six matches since he injured a hamstring in the second ODI against Zimbabwe in Harare on Dec. 2, said a decision on his fitness had been deferred until the morning of the match.

“I feel pretty good but there’s still uncertainty and I’ll have to assess it on match day,” Gayle said in Port Elizabeth on Monday. Opening batsman Gayle, a stalwart of 68 Tests, will captain the West Indies for the first time in a Test if he is passed fit. West Indies go into the match on the back of a 10-wicket loss to South Africa A in East London on Friday.

“We’ve won our last four Test series and for me that’s more encouraging than the ranking,” captain Graeme Smith said. TEAMS

South Africa (from): Graeme Smith (captain), Herschelle Gibbs, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock, Ashwell Prince, Andre Nel, Paul Harris, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini.

West Indies (from): Chris Gayle (captain), Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Pedro Collins, Fidel Edwards, Daren Ganga, Rawl Lewis, Runako Morton, Brenton Parchment, Daren Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels, Devon Smith, Jerome Taylor.        (Reuters)

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