South Africa convincingly beat the West Indies by an innings and 63 runs in the first Test of the series. The Proteas last away Test win came against England back in 2017 at Trent Bridge. It was the perfect way to begin Dean Elgar’s tenure as captain of the side with Quinton de Kock and the fast bowlers playing starring roles. Carl Lewis rates each South African’s performances in the first Test in St. Lucia.
Dean Elgar – 5/10
His first Test as captain was a roaring success despite his failure with the bat. His shot selection in the first over of South Africa’s innings was poor, he chased a wide one from Kemar Roach. He scores points for getting his bowling changes right throughout the Test.
Aiden Markram – 8/10
Markram looked in complete control for his crucial 60. He looks to have carried his impressive 2021 form into this series and this can only be a good thing for South African cricket. He’ll be upset he did not turn his 60 in triple-figures but the consolation is that he is now living up to his potential.
Keegan Petersen – 5.5/10
He faced 29 balls on debut and got just 19 but the debutant looked at ease at the crease and ‘steadied the ship’ after the early loss of Elgar. Unfortunately for him, he got a ‘jaffer’ from debutant Jayden Seales which cut his stay short. Technically speaking, he did not look out of place on debut and will hope for another crack in the side.
Rassie van der Dussen – 7.5/10
Van der Dussen’s patient and attritional 46 off 148 balls was not flashy by any stretch but was effective in terms of the bigger picture of the Test. He occupied the crease and helped tire the Windies attack while sharing important partnerships with Markram (79 runs) and Quintin de Kock (43).
Kyle Verreynne – 4/10
Verreynne was out for 5 chasing a short and wide from Seales. It wasn’t the ideal debut from the talented batter that most South Africans were excited to see get his chance. Like Petersen, most fans will know one innings is not a big enough sample size to make a judgment on someone.
Quinton de Kock – 10/10
What a way to announce yourself back into form. It wasn’t too long ago that de Kock was South Africa’s undisputed best batter and his 141* was a timely reminder of that. His innings was head and shoulders above anyone else who batted on the St. Lucia pitch and was the best individual performance of the Test. The innings was a welcome relief for South African fans and himself, it was evident in his celebration how much he wanted that.
Quinton de Kock brought up test century number 6 in style on day two of the first test in the Caribbean 👏
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) June 12, 2021
Wiaan Mulder – 6/10
It wasn’t a standout performance from the all-rounder who had to play an auxiliary role as his fellow bowlers shared the spoils. His 25 came at an important time as he shared a 53-run partnership with de Kock. He will want to contribute more in the second Test with both bat and ball.
Keshav Maharaj – 7/10
The spinner had to take a back seat while the seamers destroyed the Windies in the first innings. In the second innings, he picked up two crucial wickets (Roston Chase and Jason Holder) which is what you’d want from your spinner in the second innings. On a track that was all about the seamers, he gave a good account of himself.
Kagiso Rabada – 9/10
It’s been a long time coming for KG who looked like he was back to his menacing best picking up his 10th five-wicket haul in the second innings. His ability to swing and seam the ball at will was evident and this Test was a great showcase of his subtle skills. It was also his first five-wicket haul since 2019. Although he got just one wicket in the first innings, he was still a very threatening presence for the Windies batters. It was a welcome return to form for South Africa’s premier fast bowlers.
Best bowling strike rate in Tests (Min 200 wickets):
Kagiso Rabada – 41.3
Dale Steyn – 42.3
Waqar Younis – 43.4
Malcom Marshall – 46.7
— CricTracker (@Cricketracker) June 13, 2021
Anrich Nortje – 9.5/10
Has Nortje ever let the Proteas down in his international career? In the Test as a whole, he was South Africa’s most successful bowler picking four wickets in the first innings, destroying the Windies top-order, he got another three in the second. Nortje was consistently bowling quick and threatening throughout the Test. He was the pick of the bowlers in the Test despite not picking a five-for.
Anrich Nortje ran through West Indies in the morning session, Lungi Ngidi did the same post lunch 🔥
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) June 10, 2021
Lungi Ngidi – 9/10
Another outstanding performance for a South Africa quick and at exactly the right time for him personally. Ngidi’s five-wicket haul was the second of his career and you could see how much it meant to him afterwards. Quite clearly he has been working hard on his skills, his outswinger looked dangerous when combined with notable control he bowled with. When he fires like this, suddenly the Proteas attack looks like one of the best going around.