South Africa finished day one in St Lucia in the ascendancy after bowling the hosts out in 41 overs.
The Proteas reached stumps on the opening day of the Test series at 128/4, leading the West Indies’ first innings total of 97 by 31 runs.
Rassie van der Dussen (34) and Quinton de Kock (4) will resume play on day two looking to build on the platform laid by Aiden Markram (60).
The West Indies' silver lining for the day was the impressive performance of Jayden Seales (3/34), who took three wickets on his first day as a Test cricketer.
Asked to bowl first, South Africa’s attack took the invitation with open hands as Lungi Ngidi took 5/19, Anrich Nortje 4/35 and Kagiso Rabada 1/24.
West Indies looked to be on course for a solid start, getting through the first 10 overs with the batting order intact, but the introduction of Nortje painted immediate danger signs.
The express quick had drawn an inside edge from Shai Hope in the 10th over of the match that the newly recalled batter was lucky to survive. In his next over, Nortje got his man, bowling Hope for 15.
Nortje thought he had struck again with his very next dismissal as South Africa called for a review on a short ball to Nkrumah Bonner that had landed in the hands of short leg. DRS confirmed Bonner had not edged the delivery; the brute of a bouncer cannoning into the badge of his helmet uninterrupted.
While he cleared the initial concussion test, Bonner failed a follow-up examination after he was dismissed by Rabada for 10 and substituted for Kieran Powell.
Bonner was the third man out for the West Indies after captain Kraigg Brathwaite (15) perished to Nortje, shouldering arms to a ball that did just enough to take his off-stump.
From 45/3 things got ugly for the Caribbean outfit. Bonner was soon followed back to the pavilion by Kyle Mayers (1) and Jermaine Blackwood (1) as Nortje took his haul for the day to four wickets.
From there, Ngidi took over, claiming all five of the remaining wickets. In the 31st over, he struck twice, with Roston Chase (8) and Joshua da Silva (0) both edging to the cordon. The latter was caught spectacularly by Wiaan Mulder, who had to dive forward at third slip to complete the catch.
Rahkeem Cornwall played his shots, scoring at better than a run-a-ball, but paid the price for one slog too many as he skied Ngidi to backward point and fell for 13.
Kemar Roach (1) came and went and with his fifth wicket, Ngidi ended the West Indies’ innings, having Jason Holder caught at second slip for 20.
The total of 97, 13 of which came from sundries, is the West Indies’ lowest ever against South Africa.
West Indies bowled out for 97!— ICC (@ICC) June 10, 2021
Lungi Ngidi returns a brilliant 5/19, with Anrich Nortje taking a four-for, as the hosts are bundled out in 40.5 overs 🔥#WTC21 | #WIvSA | https://t.co/hXZZJJWsiy pic.twitter.com/J7sPdxQsal
The West Indies would have hoped for a similar collapse from South Africa when Kemar Roach had Dean Elgar (0) caught at third slip in the first over but they would finish the day already in a deficit.
However, with Seales shining, they have reason to hope.
Bowling his first over as a Test cricketer, Seales struck with his sixth delivery, drawing an outside edge from fellow debutant Keegan Petersen (19).
Seales thought he had another when van der Dussen was given out lbw for five but the South African successfully overturned the call on DRS, with ball-tracking showing the delivering going down the legside.
Seales, who impressed throughout the day, opened the door for the West Indies before stumps with a double strike.
The 19-year-old quick drew an outside edge from the well-set Markram (60) to end a 79-run stand before getting the better of fellow debutant Kyle Verreynne (6).
He will be looking to round out a five-for on debut on day two.
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