South Africa beat West Indies by 87 runs in the first test as the home bowlers saved the game after both teams’ batting collapsed on the third day Thursday.
Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada spearheaded South Africa’s three-day victory at Centurion with 6-50 in the final innings as the West Indians were all out for 159 while chasing 247 for victory.
Jermaine Blackwood’s 79 was in vain for West Indies, and he was one of Rabada’s haul when he tried to fend off a short ball and edged to Aiden Markram in the slips.
That was Rabada’s fifth wicket and the ninth to go down for West Indies, and all but wrapped up the game.
Rabada removed Kemar Roach lbw in the same over to clinch the win and a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
The fast bowlers ruled on a typical pace-friendly Centurion pitch, which offered the additional challenge of unpredictable bounce. In all, 16 wickets fell on the third day after 11 went down in the final session on day two.
Alzarri Joseph and Roach took five-wicket hauls for the West Indies — one in each innings — and Anrich Nortje and Rabada did the same for South Africa.
Ultimately, South Africa’s first-innings lead of 130, after it made 342 and bowled West Indies out for 212, was enough to carry it home.
South Africa’s batters struggled even more than the West Indians in their second innings and the Proteas, who started the day on 49-4, were all out for 116 in just 28 overs, their lowest test total at Centurion.
Roach’s 5-47 sent the South Africans tumbling and gave the tourists a realistic chance of winning.
Those hopes vanished in 14.2 overs of the West Indies chase as the tourists slumped to 33-5.
Rabada struck in the first over when South Africa successfully reviewed a catch down the legside to get rid of West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite for a duck.
That set South Africa on the way to victory, with Marco Jansen’s 2-33 backing up Rabada, and Temba Bavuma celebrating a victory in his first game as South Africa’s new test captain despite him illustrating the struggles of the batters.
Bavuma marked his captaincy debut with a pair of ducks.