Temba Bavuma was left stranded on 95 and South Africa were dismissed 25 minutes before the scheduled TV interval on the day two of the fourth Sunfoil Test against Australia here Saturday.
In what turned into an exciting afternoon’s cricket Bavuma and Keshav Maharaj added 76 for the ninth wicket with the former notching up his highest Test score of 45 in an innings in which he showed far greater responsibility than has been the case for much of his Test career.
Maharaj left and defended properly, displaying far great patience than has been the case throughout this series and showing, that in fact he is a much better player than your average no.10. If it was helping Bavuma to a hundred or just because someone had a word in his ear that inspired him, it doesn’t matter, because he showed here that he can should contribute a lot more with the bat than he has done hitherto in his Test career.
As for Bavuma this was an innings in which he made a statement, about being the man to occupy the no. 6 spot. He batted beautifully, particularly after riding his luck in the first hour of the day when he scored just one run.
He played some delightful shots in the two and a half hours around the lunch break, sweeping powerfully against Lyon, driving elegantly when the ball was itched up and on one occasion pulling Josh Hazlewood for a glorious boundary through midwicket.
His unbeaten 95, included 13 fours and came off 194 balls, in 287 minutes.
Maharaj after showing restraint – for much of his more than hour long innings, eventually fell swinging wildly at a wide delivery from Cummins to be out for 45 (65min, 51b, 4x4, 2x6).
Playing in his final Test Morne Morkel came to the crease to massive acclaim but he was out first ball edging a nasty lifter from Cummins, with a diving Peter Handscomb taking an excellent catch at second slip.
Cummins finished with 5/83.