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1st Test: West Indies hit back with late wickets against Proteas after Markram's ton

Centurion, Feb 28 (IANS) Aiden Markram smashed a commanding hundred before West Indies made a strong comeback with late wickets against South Africa in the final session as the first Test started fascinatingly on Day One, here on Tuesday.

Markram hit the sixth Test century of his career as he opened the batting with Dean Elgar, who also impressed at the top of the order with a fine 71. But West Indies responded superbly after Tea, taking seven wickets in a superb display of fast bowling as the Proteas slumped from 221/1 at one point in time to 314/8 at the stumps on Day 1.

It was South Africa who won the toss, and the openers put on 99 runs in the opening session, with Dean Elgar reaching his half-century shortly before lunch on the first day.

The excellent Alzarri Joseph removed Elgar for 71, but that was the end of the positive news in the second session for West Indies, as Markram and debutant Tony de Zorzi made hay in the Centurion sunshine.

The pair built a superb partnership through the afternoon, reaching the interval at 206/1, with the resolute De Zorzi playing a supporting role as Markram went up through the gears. The fluent right-hander ended a wait of over two years for a Test century, making it six tons in his Test career to date.

West Indies looked in trouble as South Africa built toward a sizeable first-innings platform, but De Zorzi was run out looking for a third run, and South Africa suffered a collapse from that moment on in the evening session.

Captain Bavuma went without scoring, again to Joseph, and the standout bowler picked up his third when he cleaned up Markram for 115 with a beauty of a yorker that arrowed into the stumps.

Wickets continued to tumble as the four-pronged West Indian pace attack did all sorts of damage with the old ball, ably supported by Kyle Mayers’ handy medium-pace and the controlled spin of Roston Chase.

Joseph finished with the pick of the figures with 3/60, while there was a wicket apiece for Mayers, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder and Kemar Roach.

Brief scores: South Africa 314/8 (Markram 115, Elgar 71; Joseph 3-60) vs West Indies



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