Anrich Nortje’s fourth career five-for put the Proteas in a commanding position before they lost a clutter of late wickets to surrender some of that advantage on an action-packed day two of the first Betway Test against the West Indies in Centurion on Wednesday.
The fast bowler nabbed five for 36 to send the tourists tumbling to 212 all out after South Africa eventually fell for 342 in their first innings at SuperSport Park – a lead of 130.
However, the hosts were then rocked by the West Indian quicks, who took four more wickets that left them reeling on 49 for four by the close, ending a frantic day. Sixteen wickets fell in total, including an incredible 11 in the final session alone.
However, the Proteas were still well-placed thanks to one man that was standing strong, Aiden Markram who was unbeaten on 35 and looked assured as he built on his first-innings century. But he will be disappointed with what transpired around him as Dean Elgar fell for one and Tony de Zorzi together with Temba Bavuma were removed without troubling the scorers, the captain bagging a pair on debut as skipper.
Keegan Petersen only managed seven as he too fell for next to nothing as the South Africans endured a forgettable 8.1 overs to end the day. Alzarri Joseph (2/17), Kemar Roach (1/28) and Jason Holder (1/0) were all amongst the wickets.
Before that, though, they would have been largely pleased with what happened after Marco Jansen (23 not out), Gerald Coetzee (17) and Nortje (14) helped add 28 more to their total overnight 314 for eight.
West Indies lost captain Kraigg Brathwaite (11) early in the reply when he was bowled by Kagiso Rabada (2/44), before debutant Coetzee (2/45) claimed his first Test scalp by having Tagenarine Chanderpaul (22) well caught by Senuran Muthusamy at gully.
Then came two key stands for the islanders as top-scorer Raymon Reifer (62 off 143 balls, 7 fours) put together 68 with Jermaine Blackwood (37) for the third wicket and Roston Chase (22) helped add a further 47 for the next wicket.
They progressed well to 122 for two and then 169 for three, before Nortje ran through the lower order to put South Africa firmly on top. The paceman was well supported by Rabada, Coetzee and Jansen (1/64), giving their side a strong advantage, before the late drama allowed their opponents back into the game.
Proteas Test squad against West Indies
Temba Bavuma (captain, DP World Lions), Gerald Coetzee (ITEC Knights), Tony de Zorzi (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Dean Elgar (Momentum Multiply Titans), Simon Harmer (Momentum Multiply Titans), Marco Jansen (Dafabet Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Momentum Multiply Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Momentum Multiply Titans), Wiaan Mulder (DP World Lions), Senuran Muthusamy (North West Dragons), Anrich Nortje (Dafabet Warriors), Keegan Petersen (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Kagiso Rabada (DP World Lions), Ryan Rickelton (DP World Lions).
South Africa Betway Test Series against West Indies
28 February – 04 March at 10:00
South Africa vs West Indies – SuperSport Park, Centurion
08 – 12 March at 10:00
South Africa vs West Indies – DP World Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg