• Centurion, Day 1: 10 talking points

    Jon Cardinelli reflects on the big moments that shaped day one of the first Test between South Africa and West Indies at Centurion.

    Batsman of the Day
    AB de Villiers paced his innings superbly. He came to the crease at a difficult period, with South Africa reeling at 57-3, and together with Hashim Amla, stabilised the innings. De Villiers then moved up a gear in the period before tea, capitalising on some poor West Indian bowling. Amla played well, but not with the same ease and conviction as De Villiers over the course of the day.

    Bowler of the Day
    Kemar Roach was the pick of a disappointing West Indies attack. He was by far the most consistent of the frontline bowlers, and deserved more reward for his efforts.

    Shot of the Day
    AB de Villiers played some flamboyant shots, but the classiest stroke of the day came off the bat of Hashim Amla. Shortly after tea, Amla received a delivery on a length, but still had the confidence and the ability to lean on the front foot, and punch it through extra cover for four.

    Delivery of the Day
    The ball that ended Alviro Petersen’s innings was a beauty. Kemar Roach hit the right length and received enough assistance from the pitch to square up the batsman and find the edge.

    Turning Point
    The immovable bail incident. In the first over after lunch, a Kemar Roach delivery hit Hashim Amla’s off stump but failed to dislodge the bails. It was a fortunate escape for Amla, who was at that point on 25.

    Call of the Day
    After winning the toss, West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin got it right when he put South Africa into bat. The wet and overcast conditions were certainly conducive to quick bowling.

    Fail of the Day
    Ramdin erred by not opening the bowling with Kemar Roach. Nine overs and 44 runs later, Roach was introduced to the attack. The experienced West Indies seamer proceeded to remove Alviro Petersen and Faf du Plessis. And yet, many were left wondering how different the game may have been had Roach been unleashed in the initial overs.

    Milestone of the Day
    The century against the West Indies at Centurion marked Hashim Amla’s 23rd in Test cricket. Amla has now scored a hundred against every Test nation bar Zimbabwe.

    Stat of Concern
    It’s not a stat to be proud of, but a significant one nonetheless. Alviro Petersen scored 27 at Centurion on day one. The Proteas opening batsman has now gone 24 innings without a century.

    Unfortunate Injury
    Kemar Roach pulled up with an ankle injury in the 68th over. If the best bowler in the West Indies attack fails to recover, the tourists will struggle with a limited attack over the next four days.

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