Dale Steyn took six wickets as South Africa crushed the West Indies by an innings and 220 runs in the first Test at Centurion.
Defeat was always on the cards for the hapless tourists, who had resumed their second innings on 76-2 this morning. The margin and degree of South Africa’s victory, however, was surprising.
The Proteas made quick work of the West Indies in the first session, with their premier strike bowler leading the charge. The big win sees South Africa taking a 1-0 lead in the series, as well as a great deal of confidence into the second game at St Georges Park.
Vernon Philander was the most influential player on day three, claiming five wickets to put his team in charge. The seamer was just as accurate on day four, and played his part in terms of generating pressure on the West Indies batsmen.
However, Philander was a distant second to Steyn as far as firepower and penetration was concerned. After missing out in the West Indies’ first innings, Steyn seemed determined to make up for it in the second.
He bowled with aggression and control, rattling the tourists and eventually claiming the prize scalps of Leon Johnson, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, and Marlon Samuels. It was the breathtaking spell of fast bowling that so many Proteas fans had been waiting for.
Steyn was well supported by the likes of Philander and Morné Morkel. The Proteas were sharper in the field, and this was no better illustrated than by AB de Villiers’s stunning catch, which dismissed West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin.
The West Indies’ resistance lasted for less than an hour-and-a-half on day four. News from their camp is that Kemar Roach, who sustained an ankle injury when bowling in South Africa’s first innings, may miss the next game.
The tourists will be depleted, and mentally scarred following this match at Centurion. By contrast, South Africa have made an impressive start to their Test season, and will be looking to move up a gear over the next two matches.
FIRST TEST SCORECARD
SA 1st innings – 552-5 dec (Hashim Amla 208, AB de Villiers 152, Stiaan van Zyl 101no, Kemar Roach 2-52).
WI 1st Innings – 201-9 (Kraigg Brathwaite 34, Devon Smith 35, Vernon Philander 4-29, Morné Morkel 3-55)
WI 2nd Innings (following on) – 131-9 (Leon Johnson 39, Kraigg Brathwaite 20, Dale Steyn 6-34, Morné Morkel 2-43)
South Africa won by an innings and 220 runs