Ngidi claimed his second five-wicket bag in tests and his first since his debut against India in 2018 as South Africa ended the West Indies’ first innings in just 40.5 overs after the home side had chosen to bat on winning the toss.
At stumps South Africa was 128-4, a lead of 31 runs, and was able to celebrate a strong start to its first tour of the Caribbean in 11 years.
Ngidi describes his bowling as a "work in progress." It looked considerably more than that on Thursday as he tore through the South Africa middle and lower order after Nortje had knocked the top of the West Indies innings.
Former captain Jason Holder top-scored with 20 for West Indies, which was 24-0 before wickets started to fall rapidly. At one point the West Indies lost 5-11 in the space of seven overs and Nigidi, who went wicketless in his first spell, took 5-7 when he switched ends.
"It’s not very often you bowl a team out for 97,” Ngidi said. "There was a bit in the wicket so we exploited that as much as we could and we’ve got a bit of a lead.
"We really wanted to execute, we wanted to be ruthless in terms of our lines and lengths."
Ngidi was thrilled to personally see the result of hard work to develop bowling, especially his outswinger, and praised the support he received from his teammates' catching behind the wicket.
"My bowling’s been a work in progress,” he said. "It’s been a while since I’ve been able to put in a performance like this.
"I've been working hard behind the scenes on my seam position, trying to swing it away from the right-hander. Just to see it come off today was really exciting."
Ngidi showed raw emotion when his fifth wicket came.
"I've had a few four-fors and it's been lingering. It felt like a monkey on my back," he said. "Just to get that off was really amazing for me."
A bad day for the West Indies got worse when batsman Nkrumah Bonner was ruled out of the rest of the match with a concussion after receiving a heavy blow on his helmet. He will be replaced by veteran Kieran Powell.
Nortje set the West Indies’ downfall in motion, taking three wickets for eight runs as home side tumbled to 48-4 at lunch, with Shai Hope (15), captain Kraigg Brathwaite (15), Bonner (10) and Kyle Mayers (1) all out in the first session.
It was a grindingly slow start for the West Indians, who scored at less than two runs an over.
Jermaine Blackwood fell for 1 straight after the lunch break and West Indies faced just 13 overs of the second session before they were all out.
South Africa lost opener Dean Elgar for a duck in the first over of their innings. Elgar is playing his first test as captain.
Keegan Peterson (19) fell with the total 34 before Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen steadied the innings in a partnership of 79 for the third wicket. Markram was out for 60 before stumps and van der Dussen was 34 not out at the close.
South Africa gave debuts in the series opener to batsmen Keegan Petersen and Kyle Verreynne. West Indies gave a first test cap to seam bowler Jayden Seales.