As part of the ongoing ICC Test Championship, South Africa are now playing a two-match Test series against hosts West Indies. The results of this series will only help the two sides better their positions in the points table as India and New Zealand have already qualified for the Test Championship final.
South Africa thrashed the West Indies by an innings and 63 runs in the first Test. Meanwhile, New Zealand have won the Test series against England 1-0 after defeating the hosts by 8 wickets in the second match at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
First match between WI, SA
In the series-opening Test in St Lucia, the West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite opted to bat first against South Africa in the hope of posting a big total in the first innings. However, his approach backfired as Proteas pacers Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi destroyed the West Indies batting order. Nortje bagged 4 wickets and Lungi Ngidi claimed his second 5-wicket haul in Tests.
Coming in to bat in the first innings, South Africa managed to score 322, thanks to Quinton de Kock's unbeaten 141* runs. Aiden Markram (60) and Rassie van der Dussen (46) also played two crucial knocks for the Proteas. Jason Holder (4/75) was the most successful bowler for the West Indies.
The West Indies were 225 runs behind at the start of their second innings and needed to perform well to stay alive in the match. But the Caribbeans had struggled again. They were bowled out for 162 and lost the match by an innings and 63 runs. Only Roston Chase played a decent knock of 62-run.
Kagiso Rabada (5/34) was the most successful bowler for South Africa in the second innings. Quinton de Kock won the player of the match award for his outstanding knock. The second match of the series will begin on June 18 at St Lucia.
Second Test between ENG, NZ
In the series-deciding Test in Birmingham, New Zealand beat England by 8 wickets and climbed to the top of the ICC Test Team Rankings.
Opting to bat first, England managed to score 303 runs in the first innings. Opener Rory Burns (81) and Dan Lawrence (81*) were the highest scorers for them. Kiwi pacer Trent Boult had an outstanding time with the ball; he picked up 4 wickets.
New Zealand took a lead of 85 runs after scoring 388 runs in the first innings. Devon Conway (80), Will Young (82) and Ross Taylor (80) all played their part with the bat. Veteran Stuart Broad bagged the highest 4 wickets for England.
England required a big score in the second innings to win the match, but they were bowled out for just 122, thanks to brilliant bowling from Neil Wagner and Matt Henry who bagged 3 wickets each for the Kiwis.
New Zealand eventually reached the target of 38 for the loss of 2 wickets and sealed the match and the series.
In the WI-SA Test series, the West Indies suffered their 200th Test defeat; South Africa won a longer-version match on foreign soil for the first time after 2017. Meanwhile, one of the finest teams in New Zealand cricket history is performing well across all formats. The Kiwis have reached the final of the inaugural ICC Test Championship and played the previous two ICC Cricket World Cup finals. After winning the Test series against England, New Zealand will play the ICC Test Championship final against India as the favourites.