Tom Latham surpassed 4,000 Test runs as he led New Zealand to a comprehensive eight-wicket triumph over England in the second Test at Edgbaston.

The damage had been done on Saturday, as England collapsed to 122-9 in their second innings, leaving the Black Caps on the verge of their first Test series win in England since 1999.

Trent Boult sent Olly Stone back to the pavilion with the first delivery of day four, leaving New Zealand chasing a mere 38.

Devon Conway was dismissed in the second over, though stand-in captain Latham (23) ticked off a milestone as New Zealand cruised to a maiden Test win at Edgbaston, setting themselves up for the ICC Test Championship final against India in emphatic fashion.

Any possibilities of complacency creeping in from New Zealand were dashed before a minute of play, Boult's supreme delivery nicking off Stone's edge and through to Tom Blundell.

A maiden over from James Anderson – whose record-setting Test match has not gone according to script – kept Latham, six off his 4,000th run in the longest format, at bay, and Stuart Broad subsequently gave the crowd something to cheer.

Conway fished at a delivery outside his off stump, with James Bracey gathering it in.

Latham and Will Young knew the Test was won, though, with sensible shots from New Zealand's stand-in skipper ticking him towards the landmark, which came when he nudged Broad for a single.

Mark Wood very nearly ran Latham out with an acrobatic, underarm throw from close range, though even that wicket would have been immaterial.

After clipping a brilliant shot through backward point, Young dragged a wider Stone delivery onto his stumps, but Latham fittingly had the final say.

A sublime flick to the legside boundary was followed up by a deft touch through to third man to seal a 1-0 series win, just New Zealand's second in England.

No home comforts for sorry England

England's footballers get their Euro 2020 campaign started on Sunday, and the Edgbaston crowd were singing "football's coming home" as they watched the cricketers learn a brutal lesson in the Birmingham sunshine.

Joe Root's team, who have lost a series on home soil for the first time since 2014, do not convene again until they host India in August. While they had injuries to key players, along with off-the-field issues that marred the first Test, England have much to improve on, with their batting once again letting their bowling attack down.

Black Caps top the rankings as dominance over England rolls on

With this triumph, New Zealand have moved ahead of India to the top of the ICC Test rankings, though the ultimate test will of course come in the inaugural ICC Test Championship final against Virat Kohli's team in Southampton next week.

New Zealand may have ended a dismal run in England, but overall, they have now not lost a Test to them since 2015 – a run of seven.

Kagiso Rabada took five wickets to help South Africa to victory over West Indies by an innings and 63 runs in the first Test in St Lucia on Saturday.

The tourists carried a lead of 143 into day three and completed the job before lunch at the Daren Sammy Stadium for their first away Test victory since 2017.

Resuming play on 82-4, West Indies lost Jermaine Blackwood (13) and Jason Holder (four) early on before Roston Chase provided some temporary respite.

Chase added 62 runs for the hosts, but he was bowled by left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj and Rahkeem Cornwall was caught at mid-off by Rassie van der Dussen for a duck.

A fifth wicket for Rabada followed soon after, with Joshua Da Silva (nine) doing little to extend the session.

Anrich Nortje claimed the last wicket as Jayden Seales (three) flashed at a wide ball and edged to Wiaan Mulder, giving South Africa a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.


RABADA LEADS THE WAY

The likes of Lungi Ngidi and Nortje played a big part in South Africa's dominant victory, but Rabada deserves particular praise after his first Test five-for since March 2018.

West Indies had no response to Rabada's bowling, which included the wickets of Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Blackwood, Da Silva and Cornwall.


CHASE RUNS NOT ENOUGH

The West Indies lost by an innings at home for the sixth time in 253 matches despite the best efforts of Chase, who top-scored for his side with 62 runs.

Chase was the only West Indies player to score above 20, a tally that included back-to-back boundaries to bring up his half-century off 122 balls.

England collapsed to 122-9 in their second innings against New Zealand at Edgbaston in the second Test – a paltry advantage of 37 that leaves Joe Root's side on the verge of a 1-0 series defeat.

Beginning their second innings 85 runs in arrears after dismissing New Zealand for 388, the hosts lost Rory Burns for nought to the second ball of the innings – the opener reaching for a Matt Henry delivery and edging to stand-in captain Tom Latham at second slip.

Henry (3-36) got one to nip back at Dom Sibley (8), who could only squirt the ball to Daryl Mitchell in the cordon, and it was 30-3 when the seamer trapped the off-colour Zak Crawley lbw for 17.

Crawley reviewed more in hope than expectation, much like Ollie Pope, whose breezy 23 off 20 balls ended when all-action left arm paceman Neil Wagner brought one back in to the right hander.

Like Burns, Dan Lawrence followed passing 80 in the first innings with a second-ball duck, Wagner (3-18) having him caught behind before Ajaz Patel again exposed the folly of England failing to pick a specialist spinner.

Patel bowled James Bracey (8) sweeping and when Root edged to keeper Tom Blundell when trying to cut the slow left-armer – concluding a painstaking 11 from 61 deliveries – the game was emphatically up for his side.

That brought Mark Wood and Olly Stone together with the score on 76-7, something of an unfair predicament for the two fast bowlers, who worked tirelessly on a fairly benign surface to briefly bring their team back into the contest.

New Zealand had progressed to 290-3, within 13 of England's first-innings total, when Stone (2-92) had Ross Taylor caught behind for 80, with Henry Nicholls (21) falling in similar fashion to Wood (2-85).

Stuart Broad (4-48) had Blundell caught by Root at slip for 34 and got Patel lbw for 20 on review to finish as the pick of the England attack.

By stumps he had been and gone with the bat, bowled by Trent Boult for one after Wagner ended Wood's fun on 29, leaving Stone (15 not out) with only last man James Anderson for company.

South African pace bowler Lungi Ngidi has hailed the potential of West Indies debutant Jayden Seales who claimed a hat-trick on debut for the regional team earlier this.

The West Indies have had a mediocre start to the first Test, with the young bowler’s performance on the first day, where he claimed 3 for 34 one of the few highlights of the match so far.

The inclusion of the 19-year-old, in the absence of lead strike bowler Shannon Gabriel, had proven to be somewhat of a controversial decision.  Critics insisted that the player’s limited experience, having played one First-Class match prior to his debut, meant that more experienced bowlers were being overlooked in his favour.

Ngidi, who himself lit up the first day for South Africa after claiming a sensational 5 for 19, insisted that he had so far been impressed with the young bowler’s talent.

 "He is a bit of a danger and a very exciting future lies ahead for West Indies with him in the line-up," Ngidi told members of the media.

"I was keeping a really good eye on him and his seam presentation is pretty much what I tried to do when I was bowling. I think he has a great wrist behind the ball and a very clean action and he seems he can run in all day."

Quinton de Kock made the biggest hundred of his Test career to ease South Africa into a commanding advantage in the first Test against West Indies.

The wicketkeeper-batsman made 141 not out on the second day in St Lucia, striking seven sixes in an onslaught that none of his team-mates came close to matching.

In response to West Indies' feeble 97 all out, South Africa ran up 322 for a 225-run first-innings lead, before limiting the home side to 82-4 second time around.

The tourists will therefore carry a lead of 143 into day three, with West Indies buckling again and looking set for a humiliating home loss.

De Kock, on four not out overnight, set the tone on Friday when he cut away the first delivery of the morning to the boundary.

The man on the end of that treatment, Kemar Roach, avoided being hoisted for a six by the increasingly aggressive De Kock, but Jayden Seales, Rakheem Cornwall and Jason Holder were each carted twice, while Kyle Mayers was also flogged for a maximum.

Across the day, De Kock made 137 of the 194 runs scored by South Africa's batsmen, the 28-year-old finding little support as he posted his sixth Test hundred. Rassie van der Dussen was out in mid-morning for 46, having added just 12 to his overnight score, Holder (4-75) having him caught by Shai Hope at gully.

The wickets kept tumbling while De Kock continued untroubled, Wiaan Mulder's 25 being the only significant other contribution. Keshav Maharaj perished to a majestic catch from substitute Kieran Powell off Cornwall, the short-leg fielder reaching down to his right to make the perfect grab.

West Indies had no answer to De Kock, and nor did their opening batsmen subsequently know how to handle South Africa's Kagiso Rabada, both Kraigg Brathwaite and Powell pinned lbw by the paceman as the hosts slid to 25-2 second time around. When Anrich Nortje had both Hope and Mayers held at third slip, West Indies were 51-4. A punishing defeat beckons on Saturday, surely.

De Kock's one-man show

The scorecard tells us that there were other South African batsmen involved on Friday, but it barely felt like it. De Kock's performance was majestic and dominant, his innings containing 12 fours and those seven sixes and coming from just 170 deliveries. His Test best stood at 129 before this knock, which he managed against Pakistan in Johannesburg in 2019 and in an undefeated innings at Centurion against England three years earlier.

Innings mauling incoming

West Indies have offered nothing to suggest there is a twist to come in this match. Captain Brathwaite might try to rally the troops, but this is surely all about damage limitation now. The South African quicks again bowled with terrific control, and they must be excited about the prospect of a second Test at this Gros Islet ground again next week.

West Indies captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, is already focusing on getting a much better performance from the team in the second innings after a disastrous start to the series against South Africa saw them dismissed for 97 on the first day.

The West Indies had a day to forget at the crease, failing to get to triple digits in an innings for just the 19th time ever.  Jason Holder had the team’s high score with a mere 20 runs, with Brathwaite himself and opening partner Shai Hope adding the next best with 15 apiece.

The hosts were undone by the pace tandem of Lungi Ngidi, who claimed an impressive 5 for 19, and Anrich Nortje who took 4 for 35.  In response,  South Africa were 128 for 4 but Brathwaite was already thinking about the second innings.

“Obviously, South Africa bowled well and we didn’t bat well, so we have to make up for it in the second innings, it’s as simple as that,” Brathwaite said at the end of the day’s play.

“We played some loose shots, but it happens, everything won’t always be perfect as batsmen we played some balls we know we probably shouldn’t have played at, we should have left, but we know what we have to do in the second innings.”

Debutant West Indies fast bowler Jayden Seales insists looking to maintain consistency was critical to his success, on a day when his hat-trick spell provided a rare bright spot on a tough start against South Africa.

The 19-year-old Seales ended with figures of 34 for 3.  His fiery response proved critical in ensuring the tourist ended the day with some doubts in mind at 128 for 4, some 38 runs ahead, and in command of the Test match early, but things could have been much worse.

Earlier on, Lungi Ngidi claimed a jaw-dropping 5 for 19 and Anrich Nortje 4 for 35 as the two combined to bowl out the spell-struck West Indies for 97 in the first innings.  Following the dismissal of South Africa opener and captain Dean Elgar, by Kemar Roach, Seales fired back, his deliveries removing Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen, and Kyle Verreynne.

“I just tried to remain as consistent as possible.  To try and create pressure and don’t try anything too different.  I do that and I get wickets,” Seales said following the day’s play.

Despite a difficult start for the West Indies, however, the young bowler believes the team remains in the game.

“I don’t think we are out of the game.  Today is just the first day, we didn’t bat as well as we wanted to but I think we pulled it back with the way that we bowled today.”

 

South Africa dismantled a sorry West Indies for 97 on day one of the first Test in St Lucia, before debutant Jayden Seales impressed in a late charge from the hosts.

Lungi Ngidi took his second Test five-wicket haul and Anrich Nortje got rid of four batsmen as the tourists' rampant pace attack left the Windies reeling on Thursday.

It brought up what was just West Indies' second sub-100 total in a Test since 2004.

However, it was not all doom and gloom for West Indies, as teenager Seales took 3-34 to restrict South Africa to 128-4 at stumps.

Sharp bowling from Kagiso Rabada had West Indies on the back foot early, setting the stage for Nortje (4-35) to clatter Shai Hope's off stump.

Nkrumah Bonner received a nasty blow to the helmet from the next delivery and though he was given the go-ahead to continue batting, making 10 runs, that contribution marked the end of his match. Bonner was replaced in the field by substitute Kieran Powell, who will stay involved for the remainder of the Test.

Windies captain Kraigg Braithwate was also bowled by Nortje as South Africa clicked through the gears, and ultimately it was his predecessor as skipper, Jason Holder, who finished as the highest-scorer with a measly 20.

Holder's was the last wicket to fall and was Ngidi's fifth of the innings, the paceman having gone for just 19 runs.

Down but not out, the Windies struck early in South Africa's reply – Dean Elgar going for a duck just five deliveries into his first innings as full-time Test captain.

Keegan Petersen (19) followed in the 10th over, Seales claiming the first wicket of his Test career when the South African debutant edged through to Holder.

But Aiden Markram was on hand to steady the ship, taking South Africa to within a few overs of stumps before succumbing to Seales on 60.

Seales, 19, had his third wicket of a brilliant spell before play was up, Kyle Verreynne slashing at a shorter delivery, with Joshua Da Silva's impressive catch at least giving South Africa some overnight food for thought.

NGIDI AND NORTJE PICK UP THE SLACK

For too long, South Africa have been heavily reliant on Rabada to lead their attack, but his fellow fast bowlers were on hand to deliver this time around.

Ngidi's post-lunch spell was blistering, with Nortje having done the legwork in the morning session. It marked some step up from the last time Ngidi played a Test, when he took 2-74 against Pakistan in April.

SUPER SEALES SHINES

Perhaps the Windies figured they had little to lose, given their dismal first innings, but Seales offered a glimmer of hope.

He bowled with variety and plenty of pace. If the Windies are to get anything from this match, they may need a debut five-for from the teenager, and for it to come quickly on day two.

Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje took nine wickets between them as South Africa bowled the West Indies out for 97 shortly after lunch on the opening day of first Betway Test at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium in St Lucia.

After West Indies won the toss and chose to bat on a grassy pitch, Ngidi playing in his 10th Test match took 5-19 as he tore through the West Indies middle-order that was left exposed after Nortje (4-35) claimed the wickets of both openers – Shai Hope and Kraigg Brathwaite, who each made 15.

Kagiso Rabada removed Nkrumah Bonner for 10 and Nortje took the wicket of Kyle Mayers for 1 to leave the home side 48 for 4 at lunch.

On the resumption, South Africa wrapped up the rest of the West Indies batting as only Jason Holder, 20, and Rahkeem Cornwall, 13, provided any resistance to the accurate South African attack.

The West Indies troubles were compounded by news that Bonner, who was struck on the helmet, the first ball he faced bowled by Nortje, has suffered a concussion and will take no further part in the match. He will be replaced by Kieran Powell.

Rory Burns and Dan Lawrence provided England with a platform as an enthralling opening day of the second Test against New Zealand ended evenly poised.

Fresh from a century in the drab opening draw at Lord's, Burns made 81 in front of 18,000 raucous fans at Edgbaston who were treated to a fascinating 90 overs.

Lawrence then reached the close unbeaten on 67 after the Black Caps fought back in the afternoon session having struggled for inroads in the morning, with England closing on 258-7.

On a day when it was confirmed James Anderson – England's all-time leading wicket taker – would become the team's most-capped player with 162 appearances, the hosts made sedate progress in the opening session.

Alongside Dom Sibley (35), Burns helped England reach 67-0 by lunch, but the loss of three wickets for the addition of only 13 runs threatened to see things unravel.

Sibley was the first to fall with a feather behind off the brilliant Matt Henry (2-66), before the badly out of form Zak Crawley lasted only four balls when he slashed one off Neil Wagner (1-62) to third slip.

Captain Joe Root fell cheaply, chopping behind off Henry, as all the while Burns provided a steadying hand, bringing up a half-century in 141 balls and putting on 42 with Ollie Pope (19), who was dismissed when playing a poor shot off the left-arm spin of Ajaz Patel.

Trent Boult, back in the New Zealand side having spent time with family following the suspended IPL season, convinced Burns to go for the drive that picked out stand-in captain Tom Latham at second slip, and the same man sent James Bracey back for a golden duck.

But Lawrence gave England much-needed resistance, making a brisk half-century off just 75 balls – putting on a valuable 47 with Olly Stone (20) and seeing out the day with Mark Wood (16 not out).


CRAWLEY FALTERS AGAIN 

There was something all too familiar about the way England's batting order threatened to unravel, with the luckless Crawley emblematic of the tale of woe.

Since making 267 against Pakistan last August, he has recorded nine single-digit scores in the following 11 Test innings. He was far from the only culprit, but Crawley needs a score from somewhere.

HENRY TURNS THE TIDE

Root will have been delighted with the way England saw out the opening session with the minimum of fuss, but not so enthralled by a New Zealand comeback led by Henry.

Spells of devastating pace and swing had England rocking and had it not been for Burns and Lawrence giving the hosts some backbone, the tourists would have been in command. As it is, the hosts have 300 in their sights and the likes of Anderson, Stuart Broad and Mark Wood will have plenty to take encouragement from when they get the ball in their hands.

James Anderson's incredible career will reach a new high when he becomes England's most-capped Test player at Edgbaston on Thursday.

The indefatigable seamer will surpass his former team-mate and close friend Alastair Cook's tally of 161 appearances in the longest format when he faces New Zealand in the second and decisive final Test of the series.

Anderson, who turns 39 next month and is seventh on the list of most capped players from any country, will break the record 18 years after making his Test debut against Zimbabwe at Lord's.

Stats Perform looks at some of the astonishing numbers the evergreen Lancastrian has racked up, including a staggering 30 five-wicket hauls and at least 10 wickets in a match on three occasions.

Record-breaking seamer closing in on Kumble

Anderson surpassed the record held by Australia great Glenn McGrath for the most wickets taken by a Test seamer when he dismissed India's Mohammed Shami in 2018.

McGrath claimed 563 scalps in an outstanding career but Anderson's haul now stands at 616.

England's record Test wicket-taker is only three wickets shy of matching Anil Kumble's total and will go third on the all-time list when he betters the former India spinner's haul.

 

A menace against India

Anderson's ability to generate deadly swing and seam has caused many India batsmen problems over the years.

He has taken more Test wickets against India than any other side, with 118 from 30 matches at an average of 25.29 - including four five-wicket hauls.

Fierce rivals Australia are next on the list of teams Anderson has taken the most wickets against, with 104 in 32 Ashes contests at 34.56 apiece.

 

Lethal at Lord's

Anderson announced himself on the Test stage by taking 5-73 on debut at Lord's in Zimbabwe's first innings back in May 2003.

He has thrived on playing at the Home of Cricket, taking 105 wickets in 24 Tests at the world-famous London ground at an average of 24.64

Only Sri Lanka legend Muttiah Muralitharan has claimed more on a single venue, doing so at Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo (166), Asgiriya Stadium, Kandy (117) and Galle International Stadium (111).

 

Living on the edge

Anderson has had more batsmen caught behind than any bowler in Test history.

As many as 168 of Anderson's dismissals have been taken by the wicketkeeper, which is 27.27 per cent of his wickets.

McGrath is next on the list with 152, while team-mate Stuart Broad has got batsmen to nick off on 124 occasions.
 

Record a batsman would be proud of

Anderson is certainly not known for his ability with the bat, despite being dubbed 'The Burnley Lara'.

Yet he went 54 Tests innings before being out for a duck, finally departing without troubling with scorers against Australia in August 2009.

AB de Villiers (78), Aravinda de Silva (75), Clive Lloyd and Ross Taylor (both 58) are the only men to have had more knocks without departing for nought.

Joe Root is hoping England's Test team respond positively amid scrutiny of their behaviour, with the ECB currently investigating several players for historic social media posts.

Ollie Robinson's Test debut at Lord's last week was marred when offensive Twitter posts by the paceman – posted in 2012 and 2013 – were highlighted.

The 27-year-old had an impressive debut on the field in the series-opening draw with New Zealand, but is now suspended while the ECB conduct an investigation.

It has subsequently been reported that posts from several England players across the Test and one-day set-ups are also being looked into.

However, Root is now hoping for a full switch of focus back to the matter at hand, which is England attempting to clinch a series win over the Black Caps at Edgbaston.

"We want to move forward in a really positive way," Root told BBC Sport.

"We've had to face up to some ugly truths this past week or so and there will be challenges moving forward.

"But the group of players we have now is very much committed to moving the game forward, to making it a better place, making it more inclusive and educating ourselves further.

"We're going to have to front up to what has happened, but ultimately we want to move forward in a really positive way, to keep going on this journey we've started of trying to better our sport.

"We will continue to do that because that's how we all feel."

A near-capacity crowd of 17,000 will be allowed at Edgbaston as coronavirus restrictions are relaxed, and Root is aiming to put on a show for the spectators, after his team received some criticism for holding out for a draw on the final day at Lord's, rather than attempt to mount a 273-run chase.

"We're all very aware we're in the entertainment business," Root, who wants to dispel any notion of his team being negative, told reporters.

"We all want to be part of those games, those special games that provide that entertainment. They're the ones that you remember.

"The ones that stick in my mind are the World Cup final, Headingley, Cape Town – the ones that go to the wire, they're the ones you remember as a player, and want to have big contributions in.

"I look at the situation we found ourselves in and I still feel we made the right decision [at Lord's]. We've turned up here with an opportunity to win the series, albeit it is not part of the Test championship, but it is a Test match and that means a hell of a lot to the players and the group.

"We're very keen to put in five days of strong cricket this week and win the series. If the opportunities arise, we'll definitely look to be aggressive.

"I don't want us to be considered a negative team who play a boring brand of cricket.

"We have some very exciting players who are capable of some wonderful passages of cricket and hopefully that will come to light this week."

Jason Holder admitted it has been difficult to adapt to a new role in the West Indies Test side, after the captaincy was handed to Kraigg Brathwaite.

Holder opted not to tour Bangladesh in January due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Brathwaite filling in as captain.

Brathwaite subsequently retained the leadership role for the home series against Sri Lanka in March, and the batsman will again be captain for South Africa's tour of the Caribbean.

It was a decision that came as a surprise to Holder – who had been captain since 2015 – though the 29-year-old is now hoping he can use the opportunity to focus more on his own game.

"It was kind of a shock. Yeah, still lost for words in regards to that, but I am not dwelling on it. I don't think it's something I should dwell on, to be fair," Holder told ESPNcricinfo ahead of the first Test of the two-match series, which starts on Thursday.

"Yeah, it's been difficult. I probably may not show it, but it has been difficult.

"For the last five-six years, I've been captaining West Indies, whether that be Test-match cricket or one-day cricket. So now being relieved of both captaincies, it has been a strange transition for me personally."

Holder had some fine individual moments during his captaincy, though in total only managed 11 Test wins, compared to 21 defeats.

"I am just trying to find ways to move on and transition back to just being a regular player. For me now, it's about showing a bit more of my character, and being a lot more… I would say outspoken. I am relatively outspoken, but just expressing myself a little bit more and having fun," he added.

"I feel as though I have been really, really committed to West Indies cricket – I am still committed to West Indies cricket, but more or less for me now it's just about having fun and enjoying however many days I have playing international cricket.

"There is a lot less pressure, a lot less responsibility. It's just about me now personally… I'm 100 per cent a team man. So I'll play my part to help the team and if there are other players who are seeking out advice or guidance, no doubt I'll be here to give them that."

The Proteas, meanwhile, are set to hand a debut to Keegan Petersen, who has drawn the praises of new Test captain Dean Elgar.

"I've been nervous for a while now," said Petersen, who is likely to replace the retired Faf du Plessis.

"It gives me goosebumps thinking about it. I know I will have big boots to fill. Anyone would be nervous. This is what we dream of as kids and eventually when the dream becomes a reality, it gives your system a bit of a shock."

BLACKWOOD CLOSING IN ON MILESTONE

Jermaine Blackwood could well be crucial if the Windies are to pull off a series victory this month, though they do face a South Africa team who have lost their last nine Tests as tourists.

He needs just 55 runs to bring up 2,000 in total in Test cricket, having averaged 37 from his 67 innings so far. Blackwood and the likes of Shai Hope and Kieran Powell – who have earned recalls – will need to be wary, however, with South Africa's bowling strike rate of 52.2 in Tests since 2018 ranking them behind only India (47.8).

Teenager bowler Jayden Seales, meanwhile, will be looking to make an impact on his debut.

TIME FOR RABADA TO CLICK BACK INTO GEAR

Only one pace bowler has taken more wickets than South Africa's Kagiso Rabada (202) in men's Tests since his debut in November 2015 (Stuart Broad – 203).

Rabada averages 23.4 and has a strike rate of 41.7 across 82 innings, but as of late the burden of carrying South Africa's attack appeared to have dragged him down prior to an 18-month COVID-19 enforced lay off for the team.

While questions remain over the rest of South Africa's pace attack, the tourists need Rabada to step up and deliver at his best. A five-for would be a good start – he has not taken one since March 2018 against Australia.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- This will be the first time West Indies play South Africa in a men's Test since January 2015 – the Windies are winless in their last eight Tests against the Proteas (D2 L6).
- South Africa have won all their eight men’s Test series against the West Indies so far, four of which were won away in the Caribbean.
- West Indies have a win and two losses at the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium in men's Tests, the remaining four matches they have played at this venue ended in a draw.
- Quinton de Kock has dropped nine catches since 2019 in Test cricket; the only wicketkeeper to drop more catches during this period is India's Rishabh Pant (12).
- West Indies are unbeaten in their last four Tests (W2 D2); however, they lost their four such matches prior to this run.

Recalled West Indies batsman, Shai Hope, has targeted making a solid start on his return to Test cricket ahead of the team’s series against South Africa, which bowls off on Thursday.

The 27-year-old batsman last played for the red ball team in July of last year, after being dropped for a poor run of form in Test cricket ahead of the New Zealand series, in November of last year.

After taking the time off to focus on a few technical inconsistencies and fine-tuning his mental approach, Hope was selected as part of a final 13-man squad for the upcoming Test series earlier this week.

 The batsman impressed selectors with his performance in the West Indies Best vs Best practice match, where he scored 79 in the first innings and 104 in the second.  In addition to that, he also made 68 in a practice match against Sri Lanka earlier this year.  The player is hoping that kind of form translates if he takes the pitch for the upcoming series.

“I want to be clearer in my thought processes and obviously, achieve overall success.  I’m trying to turn over a new leaf and start a fresh book, so hopefully, I can hit the ground running if I get a chance to go out there,” Hope told members of the media.

“Cricket covers different aspects, both technical and mental.  So, I have been working on different things.  The main thing is just to get success out there and I believe in finding a way.  I just need to find a way to score runs for the team.”

 

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