Gros Islet (St Lucia), June 13 (MNN) Kagiso Rabada’s first five-wicket haul in three years helped South Africa to a convincing win of an innings and 63 runs over the West Indies in their first Test match.
The Proteas wrapped up victory before lunch break on day three, taking a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
It was a welcome return to form in Test cricket for the South Africans, who registered their first victory away from home in the format since 2017 to climb to sixth on the ICC World Test Championship standings.
Fittingly, the match saw key players end their lean spells. In the West Indies’ first innings of 97, Lungi Ngidi claimed his first five-wicket haul since taking six wickets on debut against India in 2018.
In South Africa’s first innings total of 322, Player of the Match Quinton de Kock scored an unbeaten 141, notching his first Test ton since 2019.
And in the match’s final chapter, where the West Indies were knocked over for 162, Rabada (5/34) collected his first Test five-for since March 2018.
“You measure the highest accolades in cricket by scoring hundreds and taking five-fors and ten-fors,” Rabada said.
“It’s something you always strive to do. Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened for me in recent years but I’m glad that’s happened today.
“The only thing you can judge yourself on is being consistent in your preparation. It’s like scoring a hundred. Who wouldn’t be happy with scoring a hundred? I am really glad with the performance I put in.”
The pace spearhead had put the wheels in motion for an innings victory during the final session on day two, accounting for both West Indies openers before Anrich Nortje (3/46) chimed in to leave the hosts four down by stumps.
The West Indies’ hopes of an easier day were put to rest early as Jermaine Blackwood was tormented by Lungi Ngidi (0/31) before perishing to Rabada.
Ngidi had celebrated the dismissal of Blackwood in the fourth over of the day only for the batter to wisely call for DRS, which confirmed a catch down the leg side had come off thigh pad rather than bat.
Four balls later, Blackwood was given out again against Ngidi, and again had it overturned on DRS – the delivery predicted to miss leg-stump.
Just eight balls after that, the South Africans got their man as Rabada had him caught at short cover, ending a 46-run stand.
Finger-spinner Keshav Maharaj (2/23) then hastened the collapse by bowling Jason Holder (4) – out shouldering arms – and Roston Chase (62) to leave the West Indies limping at 140/7. Chase’s patient 62 off 156 was the lone score above 20 by a batter from the hosts for the match.
Rahkeem Cornwall was unable to turn the tide from there, falling for a duck to Rabada in the next over, popping one to mid-off attempting the extravagant.
Rabada went on to wrap up his five-for when he bowled Joshua Da Silva for nine, ending his stubborn 51 ball resistance before Nortje ended the match by dismissing Jayden Seales (3).