Johannesburg - South Africa orchestrated a dramatic start to the second Test against the West Indies on Wednesday. After winning the toss and batting first, the hosts moved rapidly along to 133/1 at a run-rate of 4.43 at lunch on Day 1 at the Wanderers.
The only wicket to fall was that of Dean Elgar, who had looked in supreme form for his 42 off just 54 balls, which included seven delectable boundaries.
Elgar and Aiden Markram have seemingly rekindled their love for batting together. After the 141-run opening stand in the first innings at Centurion, they pair looked even more confident here on a placid Wanderers surface.
Even at this early stage it is clear to see why South Africa’s brainstrust’s decision to play two spinners for the first time at the Wanderers since 1965 seems logical.
There was hardly any swing - despite the significant cloud cover overhead - on offer and neither any lateral movement. The bounce was equally tranquil which allowed Elgar to pull in front of square whenever the Windies bowlers dropped short.
The former skipper was very much the aggressor in the 76-run opening stand, with Markram just on 29 off 52 balls, before the introduction of Gudakesh Motie’s spin into the Windies attack that brought about his demise.
Elgar was smartly caught by a diving Roston Chase at short-leg. The umpires called for the decision to be taken upstairs, which confirmed Chase had collected it cleanly.
Elgar’s loss did not nothing to halt the Proteas’ progress, though, with Markram and Tony de Zorzi maintaining the momentum. The pair enjoyed batting together at Centurion in the first innings too, before De Zorzi’s meltdown that led to him being run out attempting a third run.
He was intent not to repeat the mistakes here at the Wanderers as he guided Markram to another half-century, which was brought up through yet another sublime cover drive. It was Markram's10th boundary of his innings, which further illustrated the Windies' ill-disciplined start with the ball.
De Zorzi also looked equally untroubled as the pair brought up their fifty-run stand for the second wicket off just 57 balls with equal contributions from both.
Second Test, Day 1, Lunch
South Africa: 133/1 (Elgar 42, Markram 55*, De Zorzi 31*, Motie 1/33)