Aiden Markram hits century for South Africa but West Indies hit back on opening day of 1st Test
Markram was reinstated into the Proteas Test team by new coach Shukri Conrad and repaid the faith handsomely with a fluent 115 off 174 balls that included a few sumptuous cover drives through the off side. It was the opening batter's sixth hundred in the longest format but his first since February 2021 which coincided with his slump in form and ultimately losing his place in the Test set-up. Markram shared in an opening stand of 141 with former captain Dean Elgar, who survived an early dropped to make his way to 71 before being caught at third man off the bowling of paceman Alzarri Joseph. Elgar and Markram had taken the Proteas to lunch on 99 without loss and came back after the interval intent on keeping the scoreboard ticking over. The left-handed Elgar was looking in trouble and had just hit a boundary before inexplicably guiding a rising delivery into the hands of Jermaine Blackwood who held onto a sharp chance. Debutant Tony de Zorzi came in at number three and looked at ease, putting on 78 with Markram, but was needlessly run-out looking for a third run when he had 28. The wicket sparked a major collapse from the hosts and Joseph was at the forefront for the Windies as the Proteas lost seven wickets for 79 runs as they day came to a close. Newly installed Proteas Test skipper Temba Bavuma only lasted two ball before he was trapped plumb on front Joseph who also accounted for Heinrich Klaasen (20). Fast bowler Joseph finished with figures of 3-60 in 16 overs and the Caribbean outfit will take heart from their late effort in the field into the rest of the game. Marco Jansen (17) and another home debutant Gerald Coetzee (11) will resume for the Proteas but the Windies will look to wrap up the innings early on Wednesday.
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