JOHANNESBURG – Anrich Nortje picked up three wickets as South Africa took control of the first Test against the West Indies at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia on Thursday.
The home team, after their skipper Kraigg Brathwaite won the toss and chose to bat, were in deep trouble at lunch on 48/4, with Roston Chase on 7 and Jermaine Blackwood still to face a delivery.
Nortje, the newly crowned SA Cricketer of the Year dismissed both of the West Indies openers, by knocking back their off stumps and shortly before the interval got a lot of help from Kyle Mayers, who threw his wicket away with an awful shot.
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Using the Duke ball, which has a more pronounced seam and stays harder for longer, the South African new ball bowlers, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi, kept the hosts under pressure maintaining excellent lines and disciplined lengths.
Although neither of the new ball bowlers made a breakthrough, the stranglehold they created wore down the West Indies openers.
Nortje took advantage; with the fourth delivery of his second over, the big Eastern Cape fast bowler got the ball to nip away off the pitch and smash into the top of Shai Hopeâ????s off-stump. Hope scored 15, that included one boundary.
Brathwaite, whoâ????d struggled throughout, then suffered a bad error of judgement, as he left a delivery angling into him which also clattered into his off-stump, with the home sideâ????s skipper also departing for 15.
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Elgar made smart use of his quick bowlers, rotating them in short spells in what were humid conditions although there was some relief thanks to a steady breeze.
🍽ï¸?? DAY 1 | LUNCHAnrich Nortje (3/8) has been on fire in the opening session as we head into the lunch break, while Rabada claimed 1🌴 @windiescricket 48/4 after 27 overs📺 Watch the match on SuperSport 212📝 Ball by Ball https://t.co/c1ztvrT95P#WIvSA #ThatsOurGame pic.twitter.com/jpxBcy9JEs
Somewhat surprisingly he introduced Keshav Maharaj in the ninth over, but the left-arm spinner did a good job in controlling one end, and got the odd ball to spin sharply.
Rabada, who has struggled with his form in the last few months, got reward for his endeavours, when he got a delivery to move away from Nkrumah Bonner, finding the edge with Quinton de Kock taking an easy catch behind.
Eleven balls later, Mayers, the hero of the West Indiesâ????s series win in Bangladesh earlier this year, attempted to pull, but was in no position to do so, top edging the ball with Rassie van der Dussen taking an easy catch at extra cover.
Petersenâ????s selection had been mentioned by Elgar, even before the team left for the Caribbean, with the diminutive right-hander, set to bat at no.3 while Van der Dussen, despite a successful season at â????first dropâ???? going in at no.4.
Verreynne selection came after Temba Bavuma, suffered a left hip injury. A similar injury saw Bavuma miss the start of the 2019/20 home series against England. More recently, he also missed the T20 series against Pakistan in April after picking up a left hamstring strain.
The West Indies also included a debutant in their starting team with 19 year old Trinidadian fast bowler, Jayden Seales starting in place of the injured Shannon Gabriel.
The two match Test series will be played at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia. It is the Proteas first Test in the Caribbean in 11 years.
South Africa: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar (capt), Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Quinton de Kock, Wiaan Mulder, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite (capt), Shai Hope, Nkrumah Bonner, Kyle Mayers, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Jason Holder, Rahkeem Cornwall, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales
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