St. Lucia, June 17: South Africa have the opportunity to seal a first away Test series win for over four years at the expense of wounded West Indies at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium.
The Proteas hammered the Windies by an innings and 63 runs in the first Test since Dean Elgar was appointed as South Africa captain. They only need to avoid defeat at the same venue in the second match, starting on Friday, to wrap up the two-game series.
Not since March 2017 have South Africa secured a series victory on tour in the longest format, that success coming against New Zealand.
Until the opening success over West Indies last week, the South Africans had not won any Test match away from home since beating England in July 2017 at Trent Bridge.
West Indies were embarrassed on the outskirts of Gros Islet, in St Lucia, where they were skittled out for only 97 in the first innings and could only muster 162 second time around.
The pitiful first-innings total was the lowest West Indies have been dismissed for against South Africa, with Lungi Ngidi taking 5-19 and Anrich Nortje 4-35.
Quinton de Kock made a magnificent 141 to pick up the man of the match award before Kagiso Rabada steamed in to claim figures of 5-43 in the second innings, putting the tourists 1-0 up in the battle for the Sir Vivian Richards Trophy.
Kraigg Brathwaite's home side must come out fighting on Friday as they attempt to salvage a 1-1 draw, eager to end a run of nine Tests without a win over South Africa.
Fast bowler Shannon Gabriel and batsman Darren Bravo have been recalled by the Windies, while Nkrumah Bonner is unavailable for selection due to concussion protocol after he was substituted in the opening Test.
MARKRAM: MORE TO COME FROM PROTEAS
South Africa could not have wished for a better start to the series, but opening batsman Aiden Markram says the tourists can move to another level.
Markram said: "It will be tough to better that performance. I'm hoping we've got more percentage in terms of being better for the next Test. I'm positive we've got something more in us."
He added: "It doesn't matter the result, if you win or lose the game, because if you're operating at the standard we've set as a team, then more often than not you'll get good results. We're pretty inexperienced, so the only thing we can measure ourselves against is the standards we set for ourselves."
FORMER SKIPPER URGES WINDIES CRITICS TO HOLD FIRE
Critics rounded on West Indies following their drubbing in the first Test, but former captain Jason Holder called for patience.
The top-ranked Test all-rounder said: "We have a relatively inexperienced batting line-up. There are guys who are looking to re-engage with Test cricket and others trying to engage in the Test arena.
"All these things add up. We need to be a little bit more patient. We've seen what they can produce, with the performances just in the recent past."
KEY OPTA FACTS
- West Indies are winless in their last six Tests on home soil (D2, L4); their last victory in the Caribbean was a 10-wicket triumph over England in February 2019. - South Africa have a catch success rate of 81.7 per cent since the beginning of 2017 in Tests, the highest of any team. They have held on to 451 of their 552 opportunities. - Since his debut in February 2014, no wicketkeeper has registered more dismissals in men's Tests than De Kock (221 – 210 catches and 11 stumpings). - The Proteas' win in the first Test was their first at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium – having lost an ODI and two Twenty20 Internationals at the venue.