Aiden Markram and Tony de Zorzi lay South Africa bedrock but West Indies snatch late wickets

By Sports Desk March 08, 2023

Powerhouse performances with the bat from Aiden Markram and Tony de Zorzi helped South Africa to a solid total of 311-7 on day one of their second Test against West Indies.

The duo both came close to centuries for the hosts at Wanderers Stadium, with individual scores of 96 and 85 each forming the bedrock of a sturdy Proteas attack.

But a superb third session with ball in hand from the tourists saw them take five wickets for just 64 runs to keep this encounter firmly in the balance heading into day two.

After an 87-run win in the pair's first Test at Centurion, Temba Bavuma's hosts are looking to wrap up a series victory in Johannesburg this week.

Having won the toss at the top of the day and elected to bat, they certainly looked as if they could build a convincing advantage at the crease.

Though Dean Elgar (42) fell short of a half-century, both opening partner Markram and third man De Zorzi crossed the mark with composed innings of their own.

West Indies kept the run rate from dramatic levels, they looked to be frustrated for wickets after taking only two across the first two sessions.

But after dismissing Bavuma (28) shortly after starting the final period of the day, they found a tighter response to keep South Africa from building a head of steam.

Gudakesh Motie (3-75) led the attack, with Jason Holder (1-39) and Alzarri Joseph (1-59) helping them to regather some equilibrium.

Kyle Mayers struck twice in the final three overs to tip the scales back towards the tourists at the end of the day, dismissing Wiaan Mulder (12) and Simon Harmer (1) to leave Heinrich Klaasen not out at the crease on 17.

Promise for De Zorzi aids Proteas

After a less-than-auspicious debut Test saw him post 28 and a duck at Centurion, the number three will be delighted to have answered his early critics.

With 11 boundaries in his knock from 155 deliveries, he worked diligently to help South Africa build their total across the day.

Motie slows matters down

The left-arm slow bowler was integral to the tourists keeping themselves in the first innings before the final session though, continuing to deliver key wickets at big moments.

He dismissed the top three of Elgar, Markram and De Zorzi, one in each session, with a fine performance on a track that proved favourable to batters.

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