Ngidi five-for hands South Africa control, West Indies 97 all out

Ngidi claimed his second five-wicket bag in Tests and his first since his debut against India in 2018 as South Africa ended the West Indies’ first innings in just 40.5 overs.

Lungi Ngidi's five-wicket haul helped South Africa bowl out West Indies for 97 on the opening day of the first Test.   -  AFP

Lungi Ngidi took 5-19 and Anrich Nortje 4-35 as South Africa bowled out the West Indies for 97 Thursday on the opening day of the first cricket test.

Ngidi claimed his second five-wicket bag in Tests and his first since his debut against India in 2018 as South Africa ended the West Indies’ first innings in just 40.5 overs after the home side had chosen to bat on winning the toss.

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At stumps, South Africa was 128-4, a lead of 31 runs, and was able to celebrate a strong start to its first tour of the Caribbean in 11 years.

Ngidi describes his bowling as a “work in progress.” It looked considerably more than that on Thursday as he tore through the West Indies middle and lower order after Nortje had knocked the top of the innings.

Former captain Jason Holder top-scored with 20 for West Indies, which was 24-0 before wickets started to fall rapidly. At one point the West Indies lost 5-11 in the space of seven overs and Nigidi, who went wicketless in his first spell, took 5-7 when he switched ends.

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“It’s not very often you bowl a team out for 97,” Ngidi said. “There was a bit in the wicket so we exploited that as much as we could and we’ve got a bit of a lead.

“We really wanted to execute, we wanted to be ruthless in terms of our lines and lengths.”

Ngidi was thrilled to personally see the result of hard work to develop bowling, especially his outswinger and praised the support he received from his teammates' catching behind the wicket.

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“My bowling’s been a work in progress,” he said. “It’s been a while since I’ve been able to put in a performance like this.

“I’ve been working hard behind the scenes on my seam position, trying to swing it away from the right-hander. Just to see it come off today was really exciting.”

Ngidi showed raw emotion when his fifth wicket came.

“I’ve had a few four-for's and it’s been lingering. It felt like a monkey on my back,” he said. “Just to get that off was really amazing for me.”

-Bonner ruled out-

A bad day for the West Indies got worse when batsman Nkrumah Bonner was ruled out of the rest of the match with a concussion after receiving a heavy blow on his helmet. He will be replaced by veteran Kieran Powell.

Nortje set the West Indies’ downfall in motion, taking three wickets for eight runs as home side tumbled to 48-4 at Lunch, with Shai Hope (15), captain Kraigg Brathwaite (15), Bonner (10) and Kyle Mayers (1) all out in the first session.

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It was a grindingly slow start for the West Indians, who scored at less than two runs an over.

Jermaine Blackwood fell for one straight after the Lunch break and West Indies faced just 13 overs of the second session before they were all out.

South Africa lost opener Dean Elgar for a duck in the first over of its innings. Elgar is playing his first Test as captain.

Keegan Peterson (19) fell with the total on 34 before Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen steadied the innings in a partnership of 79 for the third wicket. Markram was out for 60 before stumps and van der Dussen was 34 not out at the close.

South Africa gave debuts in the series opener to batsmen Keegan Petersen and Kyle Verreynne. West Indies gave a first Test cap to seam bowler Jayden Seales.

Brief Scores: West Indies 97 all out (Ngidi 5/19, Nortje 4/35); South Africa 128/4 (Markram 60; Seales 3/34)

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