Kagiso Rabada puts cherry on top of Proteas’ team effort in West Indies Test win

Kagiso Rabada puts cherry on top of Proteas’ team effort in West Indies Test win

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JOHANNESBURG – South Africa beat the West Indies by an innings and 63 runs, to claim a 1-0 lead in the two match series.

The Proteas led by a clinical spell of fast bowling by Kagiso Rabada claimed the last six wickets in the opening session of the third day which was lengthened by half an hour.

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Resuming on 82/4, West Indies lost Jermaine Blackwood half an hour after the start, after an interesting morning for him at the crease.

Blackwood was given out twice by umpire Gregory Brathwaite in the fourth over of the day bowled by Lungi Ngidi, successfully reviewing when given out caught down the leg side and then Brathwaite raised his finger following an appeal for lbw.

Blackwood chose not to bother with the umpire a short while later when he drove Rabada straight to Rassie van der Dussen at mid-off after scoring 13.

Roston Chase, registered his ninth Test half-century, as he fought valiantly to keep the South Africans at bay. He took advantage of a couple of over pitched deliveries to drive elegantly down the ground, and also struck a powerful slog sweep for six off Maharaj.

South Africa’s premier spinner hadn’t played much of a role in the first innings – understandably – but he struck with his first ball of the day , when the West Indies’ former captain Jason Holder inexplicably, left alone a straight but otherwise innocuous delivery that clattered into his off stump.

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Chase was bowled off the bottom edge, trying to cut the left arm spinner, after making 62 – struck seven fours along with that six and faced 156 balls.

Rakheem Cornwall came and went without scoring, extending the session by 15 minutes with South Africa in sight of victory. A large chunk of that time was used up when Rabada, struck Joshua Da Silva flush on the point of left elbow, after the West Indies batsman ducked into a short ball.

Clearly unsettled, he also misjudged a delivery that was slanted into him, with his off-stump sent flying. Rabada registered his 10th Test five-for in the process, justified reward for one of his best performances in the last two years.

It was a much-needed victory for the Proteas on a tour where the team’s management, particularly the head coach, Mark Boucher is under pressure. That two of the team’s star players produced game changing performances will please him and skipper Dean Elgar.

Quinton De Kock produced one of the best innings’ of his career – also his highest Test score – on the second day to put the match beyond the West Indies.

Before play had started on Saturday, Boucher had described South Africa’s performance over the first two days as being close to perfect.

Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje bowled superbly on the first day, taking nine wickets between them to dismiss the West Indies for 97.

While De Kock was the star, the efforts of Aiden Markram, who made 60 and Rassie van der Dussen, 46, were critical in ensuring that De Kock had a foundation from which to attack.

South Africa’s first innings total of 322, provided a big lead of 225 runs, but more importantly was a mature batting performance that really is the blueprint for how they should approach the first innings in Tests henceforth.

Rabada’s 5/34 in the second innings will be a big boost to his confidence ahead of an important few months across formats.

@shockerhess



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