West Indies hit back after Markram, de Zorzi fifties
Wed, Mar 8, '23
Aiden Markram and Tony de Zorzi fell short of their hundreds as West Indies roared back into the game through Gudakesh Motie, Jason Holder and Kyle Mayers after tea on an atypically dry Wanderers pitch. Motie, the left-arm fingerspinner, dismissed both the set batters to weaken the strong foundation they had laid earlier in the day. From 248 for 2, South Africa suddenly slid to 311 for 7 at stumps.
When Markram was in supreme control, South Africa were rattling along at over four runs an over. Motie, who was working his way back from a lower-back injury, shook off the rust in the last session and combined well with Holder to apply the brakes on South Africa. Roston Chase, the other spinner, also found grip, turn, and bounce, which could pique the interest of South Africa's own spinners.
The hosts had also picked two specialist spinners - Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer - in a rare instance. It was so rare that the last time South Africa played two spinners in Johannesburg was way back in 1965.
For Markram, it was business as usual, after South Africa had opted to take first strike. He unfurled a variety of picture-perfect drives, both off the front foot and back, in the front of square. When West Indies shortened their length, Markram was also quickly in position to pull them away. When he was on the verge of his hundred, though, he tried to manufacture a sweep behind the wicket and ended up lobbing it to slip off the toe end. It snapped a breezy 116-run second-wicket partnership with de Zorzi.
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