West Indies hit back after first innings collapse

The West Indies collapsed, then hit back dramatically before the close on the second day of the first Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.

Fast bowler Anrich Nortje took four wickets inside four overs as the West Indies collapsed to 212 all out, giving South Africa a first innings lead of 130.

But the West Indies bowlers grabbed four South African wickets before the close, leaving the hosts reeling at 49 for four, an overall lead of 179.

West Indies were looking reasonably solid at 169 for three 40 minutes after tea with top-scorer Raymon Reifer and Roston Chase building a patient partnership.

But both batsmen were out off consecutive balls. Reifer fell for 63 when he was caught behind off the last ball of a Marco Jansen over. Chase edged the first ball of Kagiso Rabada’s next over to first slip and was out for 22.

Then Nortje took over. He had earlier ended a stubborn partnership between Reifer and Jermaine Blackwood and he steamed in to take four more wickets, finishing with five for 36. It 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 fast start as 31 runs were scored in the first four overs.

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

New cap Tony de Zorzi was caught behind first ball off Kemar Roach and new captain Temba Bavuma also fell first ball, to Joseph. It completed a ‘pair’ for Bavuma, who only faced three balls in two innings.

Jason Holder was brought on to bowl the last over of the day and only needed one ball to trap Keegan Petersen leg before wicket with a delivery which kept low.

Markram finished unbeaten on 35.

Eleven wickets fell between tea and the close.

Reifer and Blackwood defied South Africa’s four-pronged fast bowling attack for most of an attritional afternoon, during which only 65 runs were scored in 29 overs between lunch and tea for the loss of Blackwood’s wicket.

Blackwood made 37 in a third wicket partnership of 64 with Reifer before he drove at a full ball from Nortje and was caught behind by wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen off an inside edge.

The left-handed Reifer showed determination and courage in making 63, the highest score of his six-Test career. He batted for almost four hours and faced 143 balls.

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