Debashis Sarangi ∙ Mar 1 2023, 12:44 PM

SA vs WI: Gritty Reifer And Gutsy Blackwood Steady The Ship For West Indies

image-lepn41dvAnrich Nortje dismissed Jermaine Blackwood [Source: AP]

Riding on a vital 64-run stand between Jermaine Blackwood and Raymon Reifer for the third wicket, West Indies stood up to the Proteas challenge in the first Test, being firmly placed at 136 for three at Tea on day 2. 

How the battle panned out?

The second session began with West Indies placed at 71 for two, with Raymon Reifer and Jermaine Blackwood batting in the middle. 

Although Gerald Coetzee and Marco Jansen asked them tough questions, the Caribbean duo had the answer to everything - swing, seam, pace and bounce. 

image-lepn9fvlAnrich Nortje and Jermaine Blackwood [Source: Twitter]

Both batters looked compact with their defensive technique, as they put a little exhibition of classic Test match batting by respecting the good deliveries while punishing the occasional bad ones. 

Thus, their gritty and cautious batting kept South Africa at bay for more than eighteen overs into the session. 

However, just when everything seemed to be working in West Indies' favour, they lost a wicket against the run of play right after the drinks break. 

Temba Bavuma's decision to bring Anrich Nortje back into the attack proved to be a masterstroke for the hosts, as the ace pacer trapped the dangerous-looking Blackwood for a 73-ball 37 in the 39th over. 

However, the breakthrough couldn't lead South Africa to a dramatic turnaround in the match, as Reifer and the experienced Roston Chase safely negotiated the remaining overs in the session. 

So, moving on to the final session, the hosts would like to capitalise on the old-ball swing and run through the visitors' lineup. 

On the contrary, Reifer and Chase will look to tire the Proteas bowlers and score some crucial runs for their side. 

Brief Scores

West Indies 1st innings: 136/3 (49)
Raymon Reifer 48*(115), Roston Chase 8*(35), Jermaine Blackwood 37 (73);
Anrich Nortje 1/29, Kagiso Rabada 1/29 

West Indies trail by 206 runs.