Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada led the way as South Africa’s pace attack ripped through the West Indies to win the first Test at Centurion inside three days on Thursday with an 87-run triumph.
The fiery Rabada took six wickets for 50 runs as South Africa bowled out the tourists for 159 after the West Indies had been set a target of 247 to win.
Victory came despite solitary resistance from Jermaine Blackwood, who scored 79 of his team’s runs in a one-man effort to give the Windies a chance.
It proved a Test where the bowlers had the upper hand for most of the contest and wickets fell freely throughout the day as South Africa, who had a 130-run first-innings lead, resumed on 49-4 in their second innings and lost six wickets just before lunch as they were dismissed for 116.
Aiden Markram, who scored a century in the first innings on his return to the test side, top scored again with 47 while Kagiso Rabada and debutant Gerald Coetzee were the only other home batsmen to get to double figures as they put on 29 runs for the ninth wicket.
Kemar Roach returned the best bowling figures of 5-47.
After dismissing South Africa cheaply, the West Indies were forced to face one over before lunch and saw captain Kraigg Brathwaite feather the third ball of the innings down the leg side to be caught by wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen off Kagiso Rabada in an immediate blow to their hopes.
The Windies then slumped to 33-5 in the second session as Rabada, Coetzee and Marco Jansen tore through the top order.
Jansen took two wickets in successive balls as he forced a top edge from Tagenarine Chanderpaul and then bowled Roston Chase first ball with his next delivery, clipping the top of the off stump as Chase offered no stroke.
Blackwood led a fight back in a 58-run partnership with Joshua da Silva for the sixth wicket to offer a faint glimmer of a potential chase for glory but once Da Silva departed, the outcome looked inevitable.
West Indies’ wicketkeeper Da Silva took seven catches in South Africa’s second innings to join Wasim Bari (Pakistan), Bob Taylor (England), Ian Smith (New Zealand) and fellow West Indian Ridley Jacobs top of the list of most catches in an innings.
The second and final Test of the series starts next Wednesday at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
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