Jermaine Blackwood holds second innings together as Caribbean side collapse
Kraig Braithwaite was unable to secure what seemed like a straightforward triumph, as the Windies lost their way with the bat to taste a 1st Test defeat by 87 runs to South Africa in just three days.
The captain, who had squeezed out a Test series success in Zimbabwe last month, appeared to be steering his side to an incredible victory before the collapse saw them bowled out in only 21 overs.
Only Jamaica’s Jermaine Blackwood, who notched an explosive 79 before being caught in the slips off Kagiso Rabada, showed composure at the crease in their chase for victory.
Despite the reversal there were terrific showings from both Joshua Da Silva and Kemar Roach, who rewrote the history annals with their exploits at the SuperSport Park Cricket Stadium in Centurion, Gauteng.
Trinidadian Da Silva’s seven catches in South Africa’s second innings equalled the world record, becoming the fifth wicketkeeper to achieve such a feat in a Test match.
Bajan Roach, who was instrumental in the hosts collapsing to 116 in their second innings, picked up figures of 5-47 to leapfrog Joel Garner to become the leading Caribbean bowler to take five Test wickets with 260 five-wicket hauls.
With South Africa showing resilience in their first innings to finish on 342, the response by the Windies was a tame 212 with Bajan Raymon Reifer’s 62 the only decent knock.
On a pitch of variable bounce, the tourists tore through the batsman with Roach dismissing Aiden Markram with the opening ball of the day. South Africa were easily dismissed, scoring only 116 with just two players reaching double figures, which put the West Indies firmly in the driving seat.
The Windies, set a target of 247, were generally woeful with the bat too. Blackwood hit 79 off 93 deliveries, but received little support in the middle, with four batsmen dismissed for a duck.
It was Rabada who tormented the tourists, with the fast bowler returning impressive figures of 6-50 to help whittle out the Windies for 159 to seal success inside three days for new captain Temba Bavuma.
Bajan Braithwaite admitted: “We need to do better next time. As batters, we have to improve. The 250 [run] lead eventually proved to be a lot.
“As a batting unit, only batting just over 100 overs [collectively] in both innings was where we missed out.
“The bowlers got 20 wickets, but we [the batsmen] just have to come better in the next game. The bowlers need to rest, it was a big effort from them.”
Brathwaite’s troops certainly need to show more fighting in the 2nd and final Test, which begins on Wednesday at the DP World Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.
South Africa beat West Indies by 87 runs
SA 342 (86.3 overs) & 116 (28 overs)
WI 212 (69 overs) & 159 (21 overs)
2nd Test | SA v WI
March 8-12 at DP World Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
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