WI vs SA, 2nd Test, Day 01 Highlights: West Indies fight back after SA dominates first two sessions

Quick strikes in the final session helped West Indies stage a fightback after South Africa dominated the opening two sessions on Day 1 of the second Test in Johannesburg on Wednesday (March 8).

After a 76-run opening stand with Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram (96) combined with Tony de Zorzi (85) to lay the foundation for a strong total with a 116-run partnership. De Zorzi was also involved in a half-century stand with Temba Bavuma for the third wicket but West Indies managed to hit back with five wickets after Tea.

However, having reached 311/7 at Stumps, the hosts are still in a good position playing on a dry Wanderers track which is expected to assist the bowlers better in the coming days.

The day began with Elgar and Markram striking 12 fours between them in the 15 overs that were bowled in the first session.

Apart from a couple of deliveries from Kemar Roach that struck Markram on the pads, the South African openers were largely untroubled as they capitalised on the West Indian bowlers’ lack of discipline.

With not much on offer for the bowlers, it seemed only like a competition between Markram and Elgar, and it was the latter who had more runs by the time the first hour was completed.

Gudakesh Motie, who was brought into the eleven in place of Shannon Gabriel, finally provided the breakthrough as Elgar top-edged a sweep and Roston Chase took a good catch at short fine leg to dismiss the left-hander for 42.

The dismissal did not have any impact on Markram’s approach as he struck his 10th four, off Chase, to bring up a 68-ball fifty. De Zorzi too had a busy start, hitting a few boundaries as the second wicket pair extended their stand past 50 before Lunch.

South Africa’s positive batting, which was the feature of the opening session, continued post lunch as Markram brought out some sumptuous drives and also took the toll of the short deliveries for regular fours.

De Zorzi was providing good support from the other end as they raised a brisk century partnership to put South Africa in a strong position.

The stand reached 116 when Markram, looking good for his seventh Test ton, fell four short of it when he attempted a paddle shot off Gudakesh Motie.

De Zorzi, who had scores of 28 and 0 in the first Test, got to his maiden Test fifty by guiding an Alzarri Joseph delivery behind square on the off side for a four.

Bavuma also started off with boundaries and built a good partnership with de Zorzi, who was quick to pounce on anything loose. A seven-over period before the Tea interval, when South Africa went without a boundary, was the best that West Indies managed in terms of keeping the scoring in check, highlighting their overall inefficiency with the ball in the two sessions.

But they came back well after the Tea break, with Holder opening the doors for them.

The former West Indies captain was the most economical of the lot in the first two sessions, bowling disciplined lines. He finally found his reward when Bavuma shouldered arms and was trapped in front for 28.

Ryan Rickelton and de Zorzi started building a promising partnership, which was cut short as the latter was bowled by Motie attempting a drive.

Rickelton was caught behind off Joseph a short while later, leaving South Africa five down.

West Indies opted for the second new ball an over after it was due and it was Kyle Mayers who struck with it, getting one to shape back into Mulder to sneak through the bat-pad gap.

Mayers also struck in the final over before Stumps, getting Simon Harmer to edge to the ‘keeper.

After conceding 247 in the first two sessions at a rate of almost 4, West Indies pulled it back in the last session, chipping away regularly and giving away only 64 runs in 27.2 overs.

Brief scores: South Africa 311/7 (Aiden Markram 96, Tony de Zorzi 85, Gudakesh Motie 3-75, Kyle Mayers 2-24) vs West Indies.

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