Johannesburg — Anneke Bosch admitted that the last session of the second day’s play of the once-off Test against England on Tuesday provided harsh lessons for the inexperienced Proteas team, but the pain they felt was in its own way still enjoyable.
South Africa’s attack was put to the sword by a wonderful sixth wicket partnership between Nat Sciver and Alice Davidson-Richards, that eventually ended on the penultimate ball of the day, but which had taken England from a position of concern to one of dominance.
At stumps the hosts were 328/6, holding a 44-run lead, following a record breaking 207-run partnership for the sixth wicket, with Davidson-Richards dismissed for 107 and Sciver, still unbeaten on 119.undefined
“That last wicket at the end helped the feel a bit. It would have been worse coming off the field if we couldn’t break that partnership," Bosch, one of nine players making their Test debut for the Proteas, commented afterwards.
The 28 year old, who shared a crucial sixth wicket partnership with Marizanne Kapp on the opening day, scoring 30, picked up 3/59, those wickets giving South Africa ascendancy at one stage. “I was proud of the way we started and getting a few wickets, but unfortunately we let it go at the end and that partnership between Nat and Alice really, made it very difficult for us.”
Bosch had pulled the momentum the Proteas way in the first session after a difficult start that saw the England openers, Tammy Beaumont and Emma Lamb shared a stand of 65.
She dismissed both, with Lamb’s wicket the result of a gem of a delivery that nipped back through the right hander’s defence, clipping the top of off-stump.
After Bosch dismissed Sophia Dunkley after lunch and left-arm spinner Nonkululeko Mlaba bowled Amy Jones, England were reduced to 121/5, giving South Africa the opportunity to possibly have a first innings lead. But the team’s inexperience proved costly and as the final session unfolded the physical and mental demands proved too much.
“It’s tough, I’m not used to that,” Bosch admitted. “I think for me, with the warm up game I usually bowl five to six overs in the day, but today I bowled 15 and I could feel it towards the end there. I’m not used to bowling that amount of overs in a day.”
“We have tried to prepare as well as we can. From what I could see everyone tried to enjoy it, they were excited, but we need to work on a couple of things and still learn a few things in this format.”
For all the pain created by Sciver and Davidson-Richards’ partnership, Bosch explained how playing a Test, still felt surreal. “It's been a great experience. Today it felt unreal like you are in a movie. I’m really thankful to be part of it and be part of a Test. It is really tough but we are enjoying the challenge.”