Lungi Ngidi cut the lower half of West Indies Batting standings en route to a five-point distance as South Africa beat the hosts to 97 on the opening day of the first two-legged Test Series in Darren Sami Cricket Ground in St Lucia on Thursday. The Proteas played their first streak in the Caribbean for 11 years, reaching the end of play at 128 for fours, by 31 times. Opener Aiden Markram scored his highest goal so far with 60 but was one of three wickets to fall to West Indies newcomer Jayden Sells, who also represented South African newcomers Keegan Petersen and Kyle Ferren.
Rassie van der Dousen will resume on the morning of Day Two in partnership with former captain Quinton de Kock.
Ngidi’s five-for-19 draw was his second five-wicket round in Test cricket, and the bulk of his success was in the afternoon session after tailor Anrish Norte pushed the West Indies on his back foot with three of the four wickets to fall in the pre-lunch run.
He added another amid the final surrender to finish 4 to 35.
That crash was marked by a chaotic period on both sides of the lunchtime when the West Indies lost five wickets for 11 rounds, including three with the score on 56, only to be ejected for the lowest-ever Test innings against South Africa.
Jason Holder The last time to get the highest score was 20, giving Ngidi the cherished fifth wicket.
“We all decided on a certain plan of attack,” Njedi said of the uncontrolled streak of all the fast bowlers who brought a big bonus with safe hands in the sliding hoop.
“It’s really satisfying to get another five point walk because I’ve come close a few times since those first ‘five’, so that’s a nice reward for all the hard work.”
It looked very different though when Captain Kraigg Brathwaite and opening partner Shai Hope successfully negotiated the first 45 minutes. But Nortje’s introduction brought almost immediate rewards in removing Hope for ending an opening 24 partnership.
Then he tossed Brathwaite in his next opener, the brilliant right-hander, who chose to hit first when winning the toss, and paid the final price for a referee error when he chose not to make a shot to land him.
Rabada was toiling admirably at the other end without success until he got his well-deserved reward from the Nkrumah Bonner wicket. A hit on the helmet when he fell behind with a hook shot for the first ball at Nortje, he couldn’t do anything to deliver the ball perfectly from Rabada who took the edge to wicket-keeper De Kock.
Bonner was later diagnosed with a concussion and would not play any other part in the match. His place in the West Indies Eleven has been taken by the opening hitman Kieran Powell.
De Kock, the South African leader in his four previous Tests, had earlier opted not to ride or raise the right fist, unlike his teammates on the field before play began as South Africa joined the West Indies team in recognizing the global Black Lives Matter movement and their concerns about Racism and other forms of discrimination.
Nortje came back for a second just before lunch and sent off the uneasy Kyle Myers without much difficulty, then fired the last surrender in the early afternoon with wicket Jermaine Blackwood.
That let Najidi feed on the rest of the batting and didn’t miss the opportunity, reaping the rewards of a tight, disciplined streak as Ruston Chase, Joshua da Silva and Roche edged out in quick succession before adding Holder to finish the innings.
This is the first Test cricket meeting between the two teams in the West Indies since 2010 and the first time since their historic one-off meeting in 1992 in Barbados where the Caribbean side ranks higher than the Proteas ahead of the series.
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