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‘Tumi’s innings shows we deserve to play more Test cricket,’ says Proteas’ skipper Sune Luus

Tumi Sekhukhune of South Africa hits the ball during day four of their once-off Test match against England at Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton on Thursday

Tumi Sekhukhune of South Africa hits the ball during day four of their once-off Test match against England at Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton on Thursday. Photo: Kieran McManus/Shutterstock/BackpagePix

Published Jun 30, 2022

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Johannesburg — Proteas captain Sune Luus hopes that the character and fighting spirit displayed by Tumi Sekhukhune on the final day of the once-off Test against England on Thursday will persuade local officials to include at least one Test on the Proteas schedule in the near future.

Sekhukhune’s grit — along with assistance from the fickle English weather — helped the Proteas to earn a creditable draw in the team’s first Test match in eight years. “It was exciting,” said Luus. “We got a lot of positive feedback. If Tumi’s innings that showed character and fight didn’t persuade people (about Test cricket), then I don’t know what will.”

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The 23 year old Sekhukhune, who came in as nightwatcher on Wednesday and faced a barnstorming spell from England’s new young fast bowling star, Issy Wong, batted for three hours, and faced 134 balls, scoring an unbeaten 34 to keep England at bay in heavy overcast conditions, with most of the light during her innings provided by the floodlights at the County Ground in Taunton.

“That is definitely the longest I’ve ever batted,” she chuckled. “On Wednesday when I started batting, I just didn’t want to get out, but today it was about focusing on balls that were actually (hitting) the wickets and anything outside of that to leave alone.”

Luus said the match provided her players with great value and that despite facing a lot of tricky situations, the players thoroughly enjoyed the experience. “We had that three day warm up game last week, but nothing can prepare you for what we faced in the last four days. It was an amazing experience, and hopefully we can do it again soon in the future.”

Luus, captaining the side while Dane Van Niekerk continues her rehabilitation from a fractured ankle, said she may have to watch more Test cricket in the future to assist her with strategy. “ I’m going to have to start watching Test matches soon, because I don’t watch a lot. I think I did okay, I’ve not gotten negative feedback.”

“The most challenging part was coming on and off the field the whole time; you have a set game plan and then the weather comes and switches that around, and then you have to rethink everything and come up with new plans,” Luus remarked.

“As captain that was quite challenging. Managing all the bowlers, knowing when to do what, field placements and what would work and what wouldn't…everything was quite new. The girls thoroughly enjoyed it, when we came off the field (at the end of each day) there were still lots of laughs, and although the situations were tough at certain points the girls really enjoyed it. Some stepped up and hopefully we get some more Tests in the near future.”

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