WI vs SA, 1st Test, Day 02 Highlights: Nortje puts South Africa on top but West Indies fight back

South Africa’s Pacer Anrich Nortje took four wickets in four overs as West Indies were bowled out for 212, giving South Africa a 130-run first innings lead.

But the West Indies bowlers took South Africa’s four wickets from close range first, reducing the hosts to 49 for four, a total of 179.

West Indies looked reasonably solid at 169 for three 40 minutes of tea with top scorers Ramon Reffer and Ruston Chase forming a patient partnership.

But both the batsmen were dismissed on consecutive balls. Reffer scored 63 runs and was caught out on the last ball of Marco Johnson’s over. Chase delivered the first ball of Kagiso Rabada’s next over at first slip and was dismissed for 22 runs.

Then Anrich Nortje took over. He had earlier ended a stubborn partnership between Raymon Reifer and Jermaine Blackwood and took four more wickets, taking five for 36. This was his fourth five-wicket haul.

West Indies lost their last seven wickets for 43 runs.

First-innings century-maker Aiden Markram got South Africa’s second innings off to a flying start as 31 runs were scored in the first four overs.

But Dean Elgar was caught at third man off Alzari Joseph in a repeat of his first innings dismissal.

Tony De Zorzi was caught behind on the very first ball by Kemar Roach and new captain Temba Boma also fell to Joseph on the first ball. He completed a ‘couple’ for Bavama, who faced just three balls in two innings.

Jason Holder was brought in to bowl the last over of the day and needed a delivery to wicket before Keegan Pietersen’s leg which led to a short delivery.

Markram scored 35 not out. Eleven wickets fell between tea and closure.

Raymon Reifer and Blackwood thwarted South Africa’s four-pronged fast bowling attack for much of the afternoon, during which Blackwood’s wicket was reduced to just 65 runs in 29 overs between lunch and tea.

Blackwood put on 64 runs in a third-wicket partnership with Reffer before he drove a full ball from Nortje and was caught on the inside edge by wicketkeeper Henrik Klaasen.

The left-handed ref showed determination and grit to score 63, the highest score of his six-Test career. He batted for almost four hours and faced 143 balls.

Jermaine Blackwood said after end of the day: “We know that we have been in this situation already a few times so we know what we have to do. This pitch is not flat, I think as a bowler if you put the ball in the right areas, you will reap rewards. [On Joseph] He’s a wonderful guy. I call him my brother because we’re born on the same day. But he’s a special talent and it’s great he got a five-wicket haul. To have a young guy like him taking wickets, it’s good for the team. My game plan was very single. Once I get any bad balls, I am going to pounce on it. This attack is a very good attack, they have some world class bowlers. We know that we are not going to get many bad balls here, but we have to make use of the opportunities. Kagiso Rabada bowled very well, Nortje was excellent.”

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