West Indies wilted against a solid South African side to be bounced out of the opening Test within three days at the Darren Sammy Stadium in St.Lucia on Saturday (12 June).
They looked a sorry outfit as they were torn apart by bat and ball to suffer a hefty defeat by a staggering innings and 63 runs, which does not bode well ahead of the next contest this week.
This was a ponderous performance, far from the recent excitement, from the Windies. Yet newcomer Jayden Seales and another dogged display from former skipper Jason Holder did bring some joy for the out-of-sorts Caribbean side.
The Windies, who won the toss and elected to bat, were whittled out for a pitiful 97 runs on the opening day. Barbados all rounder Holder finished as top scorer with a patient knock of 20 from his 66 minutes at the crease and was the last wicket of the innings.
Anrich Nortje (4-35) sent openers Kraig Braithwaite and Shai Hope packing, clean bowling the pair each for 15 runs a-piece, hit Jamaican Nkrumah Bonner on the helmet and accounted for Jamaica’s Jermaine Blackwood (1) and Kyle Mayers (1).
When Bonner, who was hit on the helmet facing his first delivery, was dismissed by Kagiso Rabada he was diagnosed with concussion and swiftly replaced by substitute Kieran Powell.
At lunch the West Indies stood at 48-4, but after the interval they simply collapsed with Lungi Ngidi (5-19) polishing off the tail-enders with aplomb to put the tourists in total control.
In response SA finished the day on 128-4, with 19-year-old Trinidadian medium pacer Seales picking up three wickets on his debut.
Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock held the innings together with an unbeaten 141, his highest Test score that included seven sixes, to help guide South Africa to 322 all out on the second day.With Holder (4-75), Seales (3-75), Kemar Roach (2-64) and Rahkeem Cornwell (1-60) grabbing the wickets.
But during their second innnings the West Indies again struggled at the crease, finishing the day on 51-4 from 18 overs with captain Braithwaite (7) and Powell (14) each trapped leg- before plus Hope and Mayers both caught at third slip by Wiaan Mulder for 12 runs a-piece off Nortje.
Barbados’ Roston Chase’s splendid three-hour knock of 62 held the innings together on day three, which included a promising 46-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Blackwood (13). But after the Jamaican left the crease the team simply crumbled to defeat and even Chase could not single-handedly prevent a thumping defeat.
The West Indies will be aiming to bounce from this bitter disappointment when the final match in the two Test series takes place at the same ground in St. Lucia on Friday (18 June).
WEST INDIES v SOUTH AFRICA SERIES
10 June | 1st Test (Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St. Lucia)
SA beat WI by an innings and 63 runs
WI 97 all out & 162 all out; South Africa 322 all out
18 June | 2nd Test (Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St. Lucia)
26 June | 1st T20I (National Cricket Stadium, Grenada)
27 June | 2nd T20I (National Cricket Stadium, Grenada)
29 June | 3rd T20I (National Cricket Stadium, Grenada)
1 July | 4th T20I (National Cricket Stadium, Grenada)
3 July | 5th T20I (National Cricket Stadium, Grenada)
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