South Africa Won First Test by 87 Runs
In the first Test at Centurion, Kagiso Rabada’s six-wicket haul gave South Africa the series advantage. Despite Jermaine Blackwood’s aggressive 79, West Indies were bowled out for 159 while chasing 247 on a hot course. With Kemar Roach running through the South African batting order to bowl them out for 116, their lowest Test total against the West Indies, the day hardly looked like this when it first began. However, the 246-run advantage the visitors gave up, in the end, was crucial.
Seven wickets were lost in the initial session’s quick play. In the third over of the day, Jason Holder struck first by getting Heinrich Klaasen to hit a flashy liner, and from that point on, it was all Roach. The fast bowler got the job done right away, ending Aiden Markram’s fluid innings at 47 off 58 with a peach that straightened to remove the edge. He went on to take two wickets in two overs as Marco Jansen dropped his off-stump while defending past another jaffa. Gerald Coetzee added to South Africa’s advantage with his innings of 20 off 15, but Roach outsmarted him when he came down the wicket and top-edged a bouncer to the keeper. That was Roach’s fourth wicket; his fifth came on an Anrich Nortje outside edge.
In West Indies’ shaky start to the run-chase, Kraigg Brathwaite was trapped down the leg-side on the stroke of lunch. West Indies lost five wickets in the second session, with Rabada and Jansen working together to cause harm. When Keegan Peterson dove across at the third slip and made an easy catch, he gave Tagenarine Chanderpaul a reprieve on naught, setting the tone for the rest of the afternoon in a bleak way for South Africa. But with the pitch consistently assisting the seamers, there were numerous chances. Raymon Reifer, who batted well in the first innings but drove away from the body on this occasion and gave a catch behind, was quickly dismissed by Rabada. Explore the events of first test match on day 1 and day 2.
The session was then ignited by Jansen’s first over, which saw him dismiss Chanderpaul and Roston Chase off successive balls. Roston Chase misjudged a delivery and left it onto his stumps, while Chanderpaul mistimed a pull to midwicket after Rabada and Anrich Nortje had kept him quiet. The West Indies were further damaged when Kyle Mayers was dismissed by edging a length ball behind, dropping them to 33/3, but Jermaine Blackwood’s counterattack saved the day at that moment. Blackwood started off against Jansen with a couple of fours, making excellent use of the offered width as he went on to score a 51-ball half-century. Together with Joshua de Silva, who also struck three boundaries, they quickly put up 58 runs for the sixth wicket. But he lost the match in the final moments before tea when he crept behind while chasing a wide ball from Rabada.
After the tea break, Jason Holder and Blackwood increased their attack, scoring 26 runs in three overs, but it was only a question of time on that pitch. Holder was pushed back by Rabada. Alzarri Joseph was shortly run out by Anrich Nortje, and then it was Rabada’s turn once more. The fast bowler returned and forced Blackwood to deflect a short ball to the second slip. Blackwood’s excellent session, which included 12 fours and even a six, came to an end, but he did not receive assistance from the other end. Rabada completed the victory by putting Roach in the lead in the same over.