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Hosts West Indies take on South Africa in the first Test of the 2-match series at the Darren Sammy National Stadium in Saint Lucia, starting on Thursday. 

West Indies return to Test match action following their 2-match series against Sri Lanka in March, which saw both the Tests finish in a draw. Key players within the team, such as captain Kraigg Braithwaite and fast bowler Kemar Roach, head into this first Test in good form. Jayden Seales has been named in the final 13-man squad despite having played just one first-class match in his career. Shai Hope and Kieran Powell, alongside all-rounder Roston Chase, have all been recalled to the squad after missing out against Sri Lanka.

South Africa are traveling to the Caribbean for the first time in 11 years and this marks the first assignment for the new captain Dean Elgar. Keegan Petersen is set to make his Test debut and take the place of retired Faf du Plessis. Rassie van der Dussen and vice captain Temba Bavuma complete the top order behind openers Elgar and Aiden Markram. The fast bowling department will be headed by Kagiso Rabada, alongside Anrich Nortje and Luigi Ndidi for company. Keshav Maharaj is likely to be the only spinner in the playing XI. 

A Test match between two sides, who are both rebuilding, should make for an entertaining encounter. So expect a close contest between the two sides in the Caribbean from this Thursday onward.

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Match Details

  • Match: West Indies vs. South Africa, 1st Test
  • Venue: Darren Sammy National Stadium, Saint Lucia
  • Date & Time: Jun. 10, 2020, at 7:30 PM IST/10 AM Local

Probable Playing XI

West Indies

Kraigg Brathwaite (C), Shai Hope (WK), Nkrumah Bonner, Roston Chase, Kyle Mayers, Jermaine Blackwood, Jason Holder, Rahkeem Cornwall, Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales  

South Africa

Dean Elgar (C), Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, Keegan Petersen, Quinton de Kock (WK), Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi

Weather and Pitch Report

The weather is expected to be mostly clear in St. Lucia during the match. Some thunderstorms are expected on the first and fifth day. The temperature will be around 30 degrees during the game.

The pitch at the Darren Sammy Stadium will allow for good stroke play. It will be good for batting for the most part and the batters will find it easy to bat on the surface. The surface will help the pace bowlers for the first two days, who have a good record at this venue. Spinners will come into play as the wicket slows down from the third day onward. The average first-innings score in the seven Test matches played here has been 270 runs.

Although bowling first and making use of early morning moisture can be an advantage, the captain winning the toss is likely to opt to bat first. In the seven Tests played so far on this ground, the team batting first has won 3 times and the remaining matches have ended up in a draw.

Top Fantasy Picks

West Indies

  • Kraigg Brathwaite has been a solid batsman for the West Indies in Tests. He has scored 4113 runs at an average of 33.43, including 9 centuries. He scored a masterful century and an 80 in his last Test against Sri Lanka, and has been in decent scoring form in English county cricket.
  • Kyle Mayers has scored 462 runs at an average of 66 in four Tests, including 2 half centuries and a massive double century on his debut. He looked in good touch in the series against Sri Lanka, scoring a couple of 40s and 50s in four innings.
  • Kemar Roach has been a consistent performer in the Test format for the West Indies. He has taken 214 wickets in 63 Tests at an average of 27.72. He took 9 wickets in the two Tests against Sri Lanka and is in brilliant form, with 19 wickets in the last two English country matches.

South Africa

  • Dean Elgar is, without a doubt, South Africa’s most dependable batsman. He has scored 4260 runs in his Test career at an average of 39.81, including 13 centuries. He can play long innings and put his team in a good position with the bat.
  • Rassie van der Dussen has started his Test career similar to his ODI and T20 career. He has made 485 runs in eight matches at an average of 34.64, including 5 half centuries. He was in terrific form in the series against Pakistan, making scores of 52, 34*, 60 and 123*.
  • Anrich Nortje has become a strike bowler for South Africa in every format of the game. He was excellent against Pakistan as he took 7 wickets in two ODIs. He has picked up 39 wickets in his 10 Test appearances so far, with best figures of 6/56.

Howzat Dream Team

  • Wicketkeeper: Q de Kock
  • Batsmen: K Brathwaite, N Bonner, D Elgar, R Van der Dussen 
  • All-rounders: J Holder, K Mayers
  • Bowlers: K Roach, R Cornwall, A Nortje, K Rabada
  • Captain: R Cornwall/K Brathwaite
  • Vice Captain: D Elgar/A Nortje

NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can make your match prediction and play fantasy cricket matches. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the team suggested.

Get fantasy cricket tips on your favorite fantasy sports app and select your own team, Howzat!

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