Proteas

Kagiso Rabada on milestone 5-wicket haul: 'The cricket gods have finally smiled on me'

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Kagiso Rabada. (Photo by Randy Brooks/AFP)
Kagiso Rabada. (Photo by Randy Brooks/AFP)
  • Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada said the cricket gods have finally smiled on him after collecting his 10th Test five-wicket haul.
  • Rabada's last five-for was taken three years ago against Australia in Port Elizabeth.
  • Rabada's also come to terms with the fact that a good bowling day won't always result in a flood of wickets.

Proteas speedster Kagiso Rabada said the cricket gods were finally on his side when he collected his 10th five-wicket haul in Test cricket that allowed South Africa to crush the West Indies by an innings and 63 runs in the first Test in St Lucia.

According to ESPNcricinfo, Rabada has been on a slight downward spiral and before this particular Test, the last time he took a five-wicket haul was the 6/54 in the acrimonious second Test of the 2018 "Sandpapergate" Series against Australia.

There have been five four-fers, some of them in hostile conditions, but the magical number 'five' finally came in a Test where he bowled well, but without the necessary rewards.

Rabada, who took 5/34 in 20 miserly and masterly overs, said his team-mates have also made it slightly easier for him.

"It's not something you look for or are extremely desperate for, but what you can do is to control your end. The rest is up to the cricket gods and they were on my side today," Rabada said.

"I'm relieved. It is like scoring a 100 and who wouldn't be happy when they've achieved that? I'm very happy with the performance I have put in.

"The way my team-mates have been playing has made things easier. Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje have been bowling well for the past two years and the batters scored some runs."

Rabada's second innings spell saw him get rid of the openers in Kraigg Brathwaite (7) and Kieron Powell (14) on the second evening.

He broke the door open by dislodging Jermaine Blackwood (13) on the third morning, before coming back and working over Rahkeem Cornwall (0) and Joshua Da Silva (9).

He bowled beautifully in the first innings, but his only reward was the wicket of Nkrumah Bonner as Nortje and Ngidi reaped the rewards of Rabada's pace parsimony.

The vagaries of the game aren't lost on Rabada, who has long accepted that good bowling days won't always result in a torrent of wickets.

"That is how the game goes. You can bowl extremely well and take no wickets. It's an old cliché, but it is funny how they repeat themselves," Rabada said.

"I thought I put the ball in the right areas, but it's just the small adjustments that need to be made to get that leg before or the nick off.

"That's why this game can at times be difficult and sometimes, unforgiving."

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