South Africa vs Zimbabwe Only Test Day 1: Morkel takes three after Markram’s ton

Aiden Markram century South Africa Zimbabwe cricket

Aiden Markram celebrates after scoring his second Test century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

South Africa dominated the opening day of the inaugural four-day Test match in Port Elizabeth as opening batsman Aiden Markram scored 125 before Morne Morkel took three wickets to leave Zimbabwe reeling at 30/4.

With his hundred, Markram has now accumulated 380 runs in his first four innings, which is the most by any South African player.

Choosing to bat first, South Africa got off to an excellent start as Markram and Dean Elgar amassed a 72-run partnership before Elgar was caught by Peter Moor at midwicket off the bowling of Kyle Jarvis for 31.

Hashim Amla only made five runs before striking a delivery from Chris Mpofu straight to Moor at cover.

Markram and stand-in captain AB de Villiers, who is playing in his first Test match since January 2016, stabilised the innings with a 96-run partnership, during which both batsmen surpassed their fifties.

AB de Villiers half-century South Africa Zimbabwe cricket

AB de Villiers marked his return to Test cricket with a half-century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

However, shortly after bringing up his half-century, De Villiers was trudging back to the pavilion as he was caught and bowled by Mpofu for 53, which came off 65 balls and included five boundaries and a six.

Markram and Temba Bavuma kept the runs flowing with a 78-run stand, during which Markram brought up his hundred, before he was eventually caught behind off the bowling of Jarvis for 125, which came off 204 deliveries and included 14 boundaries and two sixes.

Bavuma went on to score 44 before he suffered the same fate as Markram.

The Proteas began to lose wickets in a hurry after Bavuma’s dismissal and ended up declaring on 309/9.

Jarvis and Mpofu picked up three wickets apiece, while captain Graeme Cremer chipped in with two.

Trailing by 309 runs, Zimbabwe got off to the worst possible start as opener Hamilton Masakadza was given out lbw on the first ball of the innings.

Masakadza reviewed the decision, but it didn’t save him as replays showed that the ball was pitching in line and hitting the top of leg stump.

Chamu Chibhabha was the next to go as he was caught by Bavuma at fourth slip off the bowling of Morkel for six runs.

Morkel struck again in his next over as he removed Brendan Taylor for a duck.

Morne Morkel South Africa Zimbabwe cricket

Morne Morkel went on a rampage with the ball

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Vernon Philander then joined the party as he trapped Craig Ervine lbw for four runs. Ervine opted to review the decision, but just like Masakadza, it didn’t go in his favour.

With Zimbabwe in all sorts of trouble at 14/4, Ryan Burl and Jarvis managed to guide their side safely to stumps with an unbeaten 16-run partnership.

Burl finished on 15 off 26 balls, which included three boundaries, while Jarvis remained undefeated on four.

Morkel was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Philander claimed one.

Zimbabwe ended day one on 30/4 and will continue batting on Wednesday at 13:30 local time or 11:30 GMT.

Leave a Reply