South Africa took the series lead in the first Test in Centurion thanks to Kagiso Rabada’s six-wicket haul. West Indies were bowled out for 159 while chasing 247 on a hot track, despite Jermaine Blackwood’s combative 79. South Africa’s day did not begin well, with Kemar Roach running through the batting order to bowl them out for 116, their lowest Test score against the West Indies. However, the visitors’ 246-run lead played a vital role in the end.
Seven wickets were lost in the opening session. Jason Holder struck first wicket in the third over of the day. Roach too struck, bowling a peach that straightened to take the edge and ending Aiden Markram’s fluent innings on 47 off 58.
Roach went on to pick two wickets in two overs as Marco Jansen tried to defend and lost his off-stump. Gerald Coetzee played a few shots during his 20-ball 15-run innings, but was outwitted by Roach when he came down the wicket and top-edged a bouncer to the keeper. That was Roach’s fourth wicket, and his fifth came via an outside edge from Anrich Nortje.
Kraigg Brathwaite was strangled down the leg-side on the stroke of Lunch in West Indies’ rocky start to the run-chase. West Indies lost five wickets in the second session, with Rabada and Jansen doing the majority of the damage.
Jansen then ignited the session with his first over, dismissing both Chanderpaul and Roston Chase off successive balls. The West Indies were reduced to 33/3 after Kyle Mayers was caught edging a bouncing length ball behind.
Blackwood, who went on to score a 51-ball half-century, began with a couple of fours against Jansen, making good use of the width provided. In a fast-paced partnership, he added 58 runs for the sixth wicket with Joshua de Silva, who also hit three boundaries. But he was caught off guard in the final minutes before tea when he chased a wide ball from Rabada and edged behind.
After the tea break, Jason Holder and Blackwood attacked more, adding 26 runs in three overs, but on a pitch like that, it was only a matter of time. Holder was edging behind Rabada. Soon after, Anrich Nortje bounced out Alzarri Joseph, and it was Rabada’s turn again, with the fast bowler returning and forcing Blackwood to fend a short ball to second slip.
Rabada completed the victory by pinning Roach in front in the same over.
Done and Dusted ✅
Kagiso Rabada delivers the final blow to West Indies and the Proteas win by 87 runs 👏#SAvWI pic.twitter.com/I6X1oKtNws
— SuperSport 🏆 (@SuperSportTV) March 2, 2023
Brief Scores: South Africa 342 & 116 (Markram 47; Roach 5-47) beat West Indies 212 & 159 (Blackwood 79; Rabada 6-50) by 87 runs