Commentary: South Africa Vs West Indies, 1st Test

South Africa vs West Indies, 1st Test

South Africa won by 87 runs

RSA - 342 & 116
WI - 212 & 159 (41)

CRR:  3.88

Player of the Match


So, that's it from us for this game. The bowlers enjoyed bowling on a helpful surface and it was exciting to see so many wickets fall. West Indies were good in patches but they failed to win the crunch moments in this game. South Africa have a fiery pace attack and that augurs well for them. Markram batting so well for them at top of the order is also a positive sign for the hosts. Join us for the 2nd Test which will begin on 8th March at the Wanderers. Till then, goodbye and cheers!

Markram | Player of the Match: It is always nice to get a Test win, on hot and long days, it is quite rewarding as well. Quite comfortable going back to the top credit to the coach and captain for backing me. Very happy with how I played. Played a lot of cricket here at Centurion and I am glad it worked out, quite a tough wicket out there. It starts off quite slow and once the sun comes up, the cracks open up. (On the pitch) It was quite hard to bat on as it kept quickening up throughout the Test match. It was a bit up and down and there was also some lateral movement for the bowlers. (On his performance) A bit fortunate but will take it.

Bavuma: Feels good definitely, that's what we came to do. There was a crazy hour in the end, but we knew we had an opportunity today. We understood the wicket wasn't going to get easier, there was variable bounce. We never really spoke about the score, a particular target we wanted. It was all about extending the partnerships. I think at the end, 250 lead proved to be quite a lot. It's about resting the bowlers. It was a great effort from the bowlers. As batters we need better plans, and we need to adapt to the conditions. Aiden (Markram) was great with the bat, we need to bat better in the next match.

Brathwaite: I think as a batting unit only batting over 100 overs in both innings, that was a miss. We should have batted 100 overs, we would have been in a better position. Some balls very keeping low, so it had a lot of in it for the bowlers. Should have done better as a batting unit. The bowlers pulled it back together in the last session on Day 1. The bowlers restricted them to under 120 today, that was a top effort. There is not much you can do. We have practice sessions, but I think you need to deal with it mentally. We got to be clear on which balls to play, which balls to leave. It's all mental, we can't practice that. The guys need to carry their starts and convert into big scores. Very proud of the bowlers. They need to rest and come back strong in the second Test.

On Day 3, WI continued their wicket-taking streak and didn't let the hosts run away with the show. Apart from Markram and Coetzee, others batters couldn't handle the variable bounce on the track. Credit to the Windies pacers as they bowled in a disciplined manner and bowled out South Africa just for 116, which also happened to be their lowest Test score against the West Indies. On such a tough surface, 247 was always going to be an uphill task and the visitors were reduced to 33/5 in no time, with Rabada and Jansen on song. Blackwood did give his side a glimmer of hope with a brilliant 79 but the home side bowlers were too good. Once he departed, the tail was cleaned up in a jiffy, with Rabada taking a 6-fer. Stick around for the presentations..

The next morning the tailenders added some handy runs to help SA post a competitive total. Joseph shone with a 5-wicket haul for WI. In reply, the visitors were caught wanting. The openers couldn't do much but Reifer alongwith Blackwood stitched a 64-run stand for the third wicket and once Blackwood departed, Chase gave good support to Reifer. But, once again, wickets tumbled in the final session. WI lost 7 wickets for just 43 and that meant that they were bowled out for a paltry score, conceding a crucial lead of 130 to South Africa. Nortje was on fire as he picked up a 5-fer, breaking the back of the opposition. WI did fightback by picking up 4 quick wickets but they were still way behind in the game.

16:06 Local Time, 14:06 GMT, 19:36 IST: A brilliant performance from South Africa and they have coasted to a comfortable victory in the end. As was expected, the bowlers ruled the roost once again today and as many as 16 wickets fell today, just like yesterday. Chasing 247 on a surface of variable nature was always going to be a daunting ask for WI and they weren't able to cope up with it. Earlier in the game, South Africa won the toss and opted to bat. Markram and Elgar batted brilliantly to lay a solid platform for the hosts, stitching 141 runs together. After Elgar fell, Markram stitched another good partnership with de Zorzi. But the complexion of the game changed in the final session of Day 1 as SA lost 7 wickets for only 79 runs.

WI: 159-10 after 41 overs

40.6Rabada to Roach, out Lbw!! Rabada finishes it off in style! It has been a brilliant performance from him and the other South African pacers. On a length outside off, shaping in. Roach stays back and looks to block it but is caught plumb in front. Rabada rises up in an appeal and up goes the umpire's finger. South Africa win by 87 runs! Roach lbw b Rabada 12(18) [4s-2]

Rabada to Roach, THATS OUT!! Lbw!!

40.5 Rabada to Gabriel, 1 run, low full-toss, pushed to long-on for a run

40.4 Rabada to Gabriel, no run, sharp bouncer and Gabriel looks to block it but is hit on the gloves and the ball falls on the off-side

40.3 Rabada to Gabriel, no run, back of a length ball that strikes Gabriel on the thigh pad and lobs on the track

40.2 Rabada to Gabriel, no run, length ball outside off, Gabriel swings at it but misses it by a long margin

40.2 Rabada to Gabriel, no ball, back of a length ball on middle and leg, defended towards square leg. Rabada has overstepped

40.1 Rabada to Blackwood, out Caught by Markram!! 5-fer for Rabada and he is absolutely delighted! He has bowled with good intensity and that has paid dividends for him. That's perhaps the final nail in the coffin for the visitors. End of a very good knock from Blackwood. Shortish ball on off, rises on the batter. He is caught in a tangle as he tries to fend it off but only manges to get a thick edge behind towards Markram at second slip. It comes at a good height to him and he makes no mistake. SA just one wicket away now.. Blackwood c Markram b Rabada 79(93) [4s-12 6s-1]

Rabada to Blackwood, THATS OUT!! Caught!!

WI: 157-8 after 40 overs

39.6 Marco Jansen to Roach, 2 runs, length ball on middle and leg, worked past short leg and towards deep backward square leg. The fielder moves to his left and keeps the batters down to a couple

39.5 Marco Jansen to Roach, no run, short ball well down leg, Roach ducks under it

39.4 Marco Jansen to Roach, no run, beaten! Length ball moving across Roach with extra bounce, He looks to defend it off the front foot but misses

39.3 Marco Jansen to Blackwood, 1 run, back of a length ball slanting across Blackwood. He fails to capitalise on it as he cuts it straight to deep backward point, a run results