Aiden Markram got a century on his first day back in a Test match, but the West Indies made a strong comeback on the opening day of the first Test Markram batted 115 with South Africa’s total of 314 for eight. Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph led the West Indian bowling onslaught, taking three for 60. Temba Bavuma, the new captain, won the toss and decided to bat. As South Africa reached 221 for one, it seemed as though they would take total control.
With the old ball, the West Indian bowlers found swing, lateral movement, and improved consistency, but they lost seven more wickets before the game concluded while scoring an additional 102 runs.
Following an opening partnership of 141 between Markram and former captain Dean Elgar, he and newly appointed captain Tony de Zorzi put up a stand of 80. (71). Left-handed player De Zorzi seemed at ease up until he was benched for 28.
De Zorzi put the finishing touches on a two-run victory by smashing a Joseph ball between the covers.
De Zorzi was diverted after trying an impossible third when Tagenarine Chanderpaul produced a brilliant sliding halt.
Chanderpaul’s throw was off-target, but wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva skillfully flicked the ball into the stumps.
Bavuma, who was making his debut as South Africa’s first Black captain, was struck out leg before wicket for zero two balls later by a full delivery from Joseph. The next time Joseph hit, he yorked Markram.
Markram was discarded last year after a dismal run of play during which he went 15 innings without a half-century and only two runs above 30. He hadn’t reached a hundred since scoring 108 against Pakistan in Rawalpindi in February 2021.
Despite a cautious start, he immediately found his groove, hitting 18 fours in a 174-ball inning while also producing some devastating pull shots and his characteristic cover drives.
Elgar earned 71 points but was demoted from captain after South Africa lost to England and Australia in humiliating fashion.
Elgar hit 11 fours, two of which were ramp shots over the slips, but Jermaine Blackwood at third man grabbed him in midair as he tried to smash a third boundary that way against Joseph.
Blackwood had earlier provided a fantastic opportunity at third slip off Kyle Mayers, who was on 10.
The South African team made five changes from the group that played in the third Test in a lost series in Australia in January, with Gerald Coetzee and De Zorzi earning their first debuts.
The West Indies made one change from the lineup that defeated Zimbabwe by an innings and four runs in Bulawayo earlier this month.