South Africa vs. West Indies
Day 1 of 2nd Test
Venue: The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Toss: South Africa decided to bat
After missing the first Test against South Africa due to injury, left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie showed the world exactly what he has to offer to this West Indian bowling attack, picking up three wickets on opening day in the second contest at the historic Wanderers Stadium.
The day started with the Proteas scoring much more quickly than the West Indies bowlers would have liked, racing to 133-1 from 30 overs before lunch, achieving an scoring rate of 4.43. Although the home side had lost Dean Elgar for 42 (54 balls) to the bowling of Motie, Aiden Markram and Tony de Zorzi, in his second match at this level, were looking quite capable at the crease.
The second session of the day did not bear much fruit for the Men in Maroon either. However, they were able to slow down the scoring rate, with South Africa scoring at 3.56 within those two hours. The one wicket that they did take, was of opener Markram, who scored 96 runs (139 balls) to follow up his 162 runs over both innings in the first Test. Motie (3-75) had him caught by Jermaine Blackwood moving around smartly from slip, after he tried to get creative to bring up his second century of the series.
It is in the third session of play that the visitors were able to do significant damage to the home teams batting lineup, taking five wickets in the session, while only conceding 64 runs in 27.2 over. Jason Holder (1-39) started the collapse by trapping captain, Temba Bavuma (28 from 64 balls) LBW, before Motie picked up his third of the day, with Alzarri Joseph (1-59) and Kyle Mayers (2-24) came to the party later in the afternoon.
Speaking to the media at close-of-play, Mayers made mention about the pitch changing and being the cause for the shift in momentum.
“I believe that the pitch changed throughout the day. I thought it had in some early moisture, which made it very easy for the batsmen, it was very slow and then it quickened up in the end,” he said. About the balance of the match, he added: “I think it’s an open game. Putting up 300 in the first innings is always good for the batting team, especially in these conditions with the ball moving around. It’s just for us now to bring them in for less than 400 to keep the game open. They batted really well in the beginning, but the late strikes this evening brought us back into the game.”
The match resumes on Thursday at 10am (4am Eastern Caribbean/3am Jamaica).