South Africa openers, Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram, made a solid start after Temba Bavuma, in his first Test as captain, won the toss and opted to bat in the first Test against the West Indies at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Tuesday.
A century from South Africa opener Aiden Markram helped pile on the early runs on the opening day of the first Test at Centurion on Tuesday, only for the West Indies to fight its way back into the contest and have its hosts 314-8 at the close of play.
Bavuma said at the toss that he expected conditions to be tricky at the start. The South African team showed five changes from the side that played in the third Test of a losing series in Australia in January.
Opening batsman Tony de Zorzi and fast bowler Gerald Coetzee won their first caps. Keegan Petersen returned from injury while left-arm spin bowling all-rounder Senuran Muthusamy, who played two Tests in India in 2019, was a surprise inclusion ahead of Keshav Maharaj.
The West Indies made one change from the side that beat Zimbabwe by an innings and four runs in Bulawayo earlier this month as Kemar Roach replaced Gudakesh Moti.
Markram celebrated his recall to the Test side with a 115-run knock after the home side had won the toss and elected to bat, racing to 99-0 at lunch and 221-1 before the tourists bounced back with seven wickets in the evening session.
Markram put on 141 for the first wicket with Dean Elgar, who shrugged off the disappointment of being stripped of the captaincy and hit 71 before Jermaine Blackwood’s leaping catch had him snagged off Alzarri Joseph.
South Africa advanced to 206-1 at tea and was on 221 when debutant Tony de Zorzi was needlessly run out after a patient 28. West Indies wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva showed some deft handwork to catch him short and claim the second wicket.
New Test captain Temba Bavuma, taking over from Elgar after South Africa lost badly in Australia, followed two balls later after being trapped leg-before wicket by Joseph, who then had Markram clean bowled as he slipped in a speedy yorker.
Markram faced 174 balls and hit 18 fours in determined innings on his home ground after a recall from new coach Shukri Conrad, who is also now the only selector in a revamp of the South Africa Test side.
Joseph was the pick of the bowlers and finished the day on 3-60, but there were also wickets late in the day for others in the bowling line-up.
Shannon Gabriel banged in a ball that rushed onto Heinrich Klaasen and saw him mistime his shot to be caught for 20 while Kemar Roach trapped Senuran Muthusamy lbw for three.
Keegan Petersen was the last recognized batsman to go, lbw to Kyle Mayers for 14.
Kagiso Rabada then nicked Jason Holder to Blackwood at second slip for eight, meaning South Africa had lost their last seven wickets for 79 runs.
Marco Jansen and debutant bowler George Coetzee were unbeaten when bad light stopped play.
SUMMARY: South Africa 314 for 8 (Markram 115, Elgar 71, Joseph 3-60) vs West Indies