Roston Chase

LEADING THE WAY: West Indies middle order batsman Roston Chase shows the South African bowlers a straight bat during his defiant half-century on the third day of the first Test at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground, Gros Islet, St Lucia, yesterday. —Photo: CWI Media

Don’t doubt yourself.

Despite a heavy innings and 63-run loss against South Africa inside three days, West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite said he is 100 per cent behind his team as they look to bounce back in the second Test starting Friday.

Brathwaite’s men were outplayed by the South Africans at every turn, culminating in an innings and 63-run defeat before lunch on the third day of the first Test at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia, yesterday.

The Windies skipper put the loss down to a bad day of Test cricket on the opening day of the game when he won the toss only for his side to be dismissed for 97 in the first innings.

South Africa, led by Quinton De Kock’s unbeaten 141, posted 322 in their first innings on the second day of the contest and the Windies entered yesterday’s play on 82 for four, still trailing by 143 runs.

The South Africans only needed an extended first session yesterday to wrap up an easy win, with Kagiso Rabada grabbing five for 34 as the hosts were dismissed for 162.

Only Roston Chase showed some fight with the bat for the WI, hitting 62 but he had no support. Fellow overnight batsman Jermaine Blackwood added just three to his tally and survived an eventful over when he used DRS to overturn two “out” decisions before he was eventually caught at short extra-cover driving at Rabada.

Chase settled in and crashed back-to-back boundaries off Wiaan Mulder to bring up his 50 off 122 balls. But at the other end wickets tumbled, with Jason Holder being bowled by left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, not offering a shot to a ball that went straight on to hit the off stump.

The spinner also paved the way for a speedy end to the innings after bowling Chase, who chopped one onto his stumps.

Rabada then intervened to send back Rahkeem Cornwall before hitting Joshua Da Silva on the elbow with a short ball that didn’t bounce as high as the batsman anticipated.

Da Silva also survived a review for lbw but was eventually bowled by Rabada not offering a shot.

The last wicket followed shortly after with Jayden Seales edging to third slip off Anrich Nortye as the Windies slumped to their first Test defeat in five matches.

“We were always on the back foot,” Brathwaite said refereeing to the team’s poor first innings effort.

“In this game, it was a crucial period when we batted first and we didn’t get the runs on the board,” Brathwaite explained.

“I just think there are some crucial periods of the game when we falter as a team at times but all that is the past and like I said, we have bad days and good days, but it is important that we learn from this game.”

The West Indies bowling, including debutant fast bowler Seales, kept the hosts in the match on the first day but De Kock’s ton ensured the momentum stayed with South Africa for the remainder of the game.

Brathwaite said his side must learn quickly in order to come back stronger in the second Test.

“We have plans but obviously it didn’t go to plan. For me it is just to refresh...It was good to get the experience against them (the South Africa bowlers) and for the next (match), it is just to be fully locked into that plan,” said Brathwaite.

And the WI skipper also sought to shift the emphasis away from the mistakes of the first Test.

“All the guys can bat. It is history, so it is important not to stress on the past. Looking ahead, it is about having a clear mindset and trusting in your plan. I think the main thing is not to worry about what is gone and how you may have been dismissed. Roston showed a lot of fight and that is an example we could use going forward. I was very impressed, and it was good to see,” Brathwaite said.

“I am 100 per cent behind this team for sure,” he concluded.

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