The Proteas setup the fire ahead of their ODI with the Aussies
As a warm-up for the series against Australia, the Standard Bank Proteas’ 206-run win over Ireland in Benoni over the weekend was as successful as could have been hoped for. The match will be remembered for Temba Bavuma’s marvellous century on debut in his unfamiliar role of opening batsman, the 26-year-old proving himself as the most adaptable South African batsman. It was also significant for JP Duminy and Farhaan Behardien, who confirmed themselves as the current best choices for the number five and six positions.
But Bavuma was the uncontested star of the show; his wonderful innings ensuring that it was a good day for the Proteas. He started scratchily, being dropped in the slips on one in the second over of the day, but he quickly made sure that was forgotten as he produced a stroke-filled innings that laid the perfect platform for the SA team, reaching his 50 off 54 balls, his century from 110 deliveries and eventually finishing with 113 off 123 balls, with 13 fours and a six. Bavuma guaranteed that even if he never gets to open the batting again, he has proven that he has the skills to do the job. The Proteas are moving forward with every team member taking a stride forwards together.
“I just batted as I normally would, trying to hit good cricket shots, take the ones and twos and look for the gaps,” the young cricketing sensation said. “I didn’t really feel any fluency throughout my innings, which was partly because of the pitch, which was a bit slow and two-paced, and I struggled to hit through the ball. So I tried to stay strong in my game plans, understand where I could score, run hard and try to hit the gaps.”
Watching the game closely, it was clear that Bavuma was helped by the sheer talent of Quinton de Kock, who was quickly away after South Africa had been sent in to bat, scoring 30 of the first 50 runs that came up in the ninth over. The left-hander finished with a blistering 82 off just 66 deliveries, and Bavuma paid tribute to him after the match:
“Because of the way Quinny played, he makes any pitch look flat, and up front he scored quickly, so I was able to take a bit more time, settle my nerves.”
But once Bavuma and De Kock were dismissed, the South African innings went through a bit of a dead patch with just 51 runs being scored between the 30th and 40th overs, and the home side needed a big finish from Duminy and, in particular, Behardien, to post a commanding total of 354 for five.
Behardien required just 21 balls to reach his half-century, hitting over extra cover with great skill, but also placing the ball well and running hard. Duminy needed some time to get going, but finished with 52 not out off 43 deliveries, and then took a career-best four for 16 with the ball to put in just the sort of big performance required to ensure his selection against Australia.
With the innovation that is the Standard Bank Twicket game you get to predict the score of an over with a possibility to unlocking the power play that is activated on match day where you can double your scoring to win some prizes.
Standard Bank Twicket game instructions:
- During live games involving the Proteas, Twicketers must guess how many runs will be scored off the next over by Tweeting their guess and using #SBtwicket.
- Twicketers must follow @standardbankZA in order to take part.
- Tweet the over number you are predicting (needs to be for the next over), followed by the runs you’re predicting and the hashtag #SBTwicket. For example: 70 5 #SBtwicket
- Predictions must come in before the first ball of the over is bowled.
- The results of each play will be sent via a personal message on Twitter after each over.
- View the leaderboard here: www.standardbank.co.za/proteas
Standard Bank is behind the Proteas all the way and also shares in the pride with fellow South Africans as the team gears themselves up for Australia in the upcoming ODI series.
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