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Cricket news - Nortje runs through West Indies' top-order

Anrich Nortje rattled the WI top-order, picking three wickets in the session

Anrich Nortje rattled the WI top-order, picking three wickets in the session

Kraigg Brathwaite made a questionable move to bat on a spicy St Lucia pitch and saw his side slip to 48/4 after the first session of the series. South Africa's seamers, particularly Anrich Nortje, made hay on a surface that resembled the ones at the Highveld back home, offering barely any breathing room over the two hours.

The visitors, who arrived expecting slower and lower turners as evidenced by their squad make-up, were pleasantly surprised by the live grass cover on the pitch that resembled more like the ones at Highveld back home. To their credit Brathwaite and the returning Shai Hope survived the first nine-over burst from Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi despite being squared open and beaten multiple times.

They eventually ran out of luck when Nortje arrived as the first change option, turning open Hope and hitting the top of off-stump. If anything, Nortje's extra pace and his propensity to throw in the surprise bumper left the batsmen less sure of their approach. Nkrumah Bonner was pinged on the helmet first ball by Nortje while a tentative Brathwaite shouldered arms to a delivery that was pitched further up and jagged back in to hit the stumps.

South Africa's control in the session was exemplified by Keshav Maharaj's six-over spell in which he gave away just the eight runs, four of which came off a fortuitous edge past the slip. Rabada returned for another spell late in the session and finally found the edge with one of his away seamers.

And then Bonner was followed back to the pavilion by his fellow Chattogram hero, Kyle Mayers, who after calling for an excellent review to overturn an LBW decision, fell to an ill-judged pull shot that went only as far as mid-off thanks to a leading edge.

Brief scores: West Indies 48/3 (Anrich Nortje 3-8) vs South Africa