(Updates at lunch)
By Nick Said
PRETORIA, Dec 17 (Reuters) - West Indies seamer Kemar Roach was denied the new ball but stormed back to grab two wickets and leave South Africa teetering at 102 for three at lunch on the first day of the opening test at Centurion on Wednesday.
Put in to bat, South Africa raced to 57 without loss but were then three wickets down for the addition of no runs as a fired-up Roach produced the line and length the opening bowlers had lacked in overcast conditions that had delayed the start of play by 30 minutes.
Proteas captain Hashim Amla, leading the side for the first time at home, will resume after the interval on 25 along with AB de Villiers (16 not out) with the sole intention of rebuilding the innings after a spell of 16 balls ruined what was shaping up to be a dominant morning session for the hosts.
Roach, considered West Indies’ premier paceman, had opened the bowling in every test he had played since 2012, but on this occasion Jerome Taylor and Sheldon Cottrell were given the new-ball responsibilities.
They sprayed the ball either side of the wicket and bowled too short on a slow pitch that allowed openers Alviro Petersen and Dean Elgar to get off to a fast start.
The pair put on 50 inside 10 overs before Roach was finally introduced in the 12th over and the game changed.
He induced an edge from Petersen (27), whose place in the side has been under scrutiny, to Devon Smith at first slip with the score on 57.
In the next over a confident-looking Elgar smashed a wide delivery from Cottrell straight to Marlon Samuels in the gully for 28 and a poor few minutes for South Africa got worse when Faf du Plessis feathered an edge off Roach to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin without scoring.
The Proteas have handed a debut to left-handed batsman Stiaan van Zyl and were disappointed to lose the toss having selected an all-pace attack with seamer Kyle Abbott preferred to left-arm spinner Robin Peterson. (Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Martyn Herman)