Windies stumble before lunch on first day of first Test
Gros Islet – West Indies failed to back up their decision to bat, and South Africa led bhy pacer Anrich Nortje took an early grip on the first Test in St. Lucia.
The Windies stumbled to 48 for four in their first innings at the interval with Roston Chase, not out on seven, and Jermaine Blackwood, not out on zero, on the first day of the match at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.
The top order of the home team’s batting was dismantled by Nortje, who has so far taken three for eight from six overs.
Openers Kraigg Brathwaite, the West Indies captain, and Barbados Pride teammate Shai Hope, his new opening partner, got through the opening spells of the South African new-ball pair of Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi.
But the Windies started to crumble, when Hope was bowled by Nortje for 15, playing across a well-pitched delivery that moved away slightly off the line in the pacer’s second over.
Brathwaite was bowled for 15 on the stroke of the water break, offering no stroke to a delivery that moved back in Nortje’s third over.
West Indies were 31 for two, and Roston Chase joined Nkumah Bonner to stem the fall of wickets for a little more than 45 minutes.
But the spell of resistance was broken, when Bonner was caught behind off Rabada for 10, squared by a delivery moving away late.
And, Mayers was caught at cover off Nortje for one in the penultimate over before lunch, trying to pull a short delivery from Nortje and got a leading edge, two balls after he successfully reviewed an lbw verdict from umpire Gregory Brathwaite to the same bowler.
The Windies omitted Alzarri Joseph and Kieran Powell from their final 11, handing recalls to Hope and Chase, as well as a debut cap to former West Indies Under-19 pacer, Jayden Seales.
The 19-year-old, Trinidad & Tobago Red Force pacer, Seales becomes the 326th player to play a Test for the Caribbean side.
The South Africans have included Test newcomers Keegan Petersen and Kyle Verreynne in their final 11.
West Indies are currently ranked sixth in the ICC World Test Rankings and South Africa are ranked seventh.
The Windies have never won a Test series against the Proteas, winning only three of the 28 Tests the two side have played, since the visitors were readmitted to the international game almost 30 years ago.
Overall, the Caribbean side have lost three Test series on home soil and four in South Africa.
The Test is the first of two that the teams will be playing at the DSCG for the Vivian Richards Trophy. The second starts on Friday, June 18.
WEST INDIES 48 for four (Kraigg Brathwaite 15, Shai Hope 15, Nkrumah Bonner 10; Anrich Nortje 3-8) vs SOUTH AFRICA.