Bavuma’s century sets up Proteas win & silences critics with Apartheid ideals | The Citizen

Temba Bavuma’s classy century set up a brilliant South African run-chase to clinch the ODI series against England in Bloemfontein on Sunday and silence those critics who seem to hang on to Apartheid ideals when it comes to the excellence of Black African cricketers.

The Proteas were chasing a daunting 343 for victory and reached their target with five wickets and five balls to spare, their third highest run-chase ever, giving them a 2-0 series win.

Read more: Magala, Nortje shine as Proteas hit back to stun England in ODI opener

It was captain Bavuma, opening the batting, who set the tone, dominating an opening stand of 77 off 72 balls with Quinton de Kock (31 off 28), who struggled at the start after leaving the field for most of the England innings for x-rays on an injured thumb while keeping wicket.

Following De Kock’s dismissal, Bavuma batted through to the 28th over, scoring a superb 109 off 102 balls, with 14 fours and a six. His timing was immaculate, and he drove, pulled and cut the English bowlers with tremendous authority. He also showed his determination by batting through painful cramps as he approached his century.

Despite his torrid time in T20 cricket of late, Bavuma’s performances in Test and ODI cricket have been excellent and have clearly shown he is amongst the best batsmen in the country. His man-of-the-match effort in Sunday’s crunch match merely underlined this, no doubt to the embarrassment of his detractors.

Wild bronco

When Bavuma fell, scooping left-arm quick Sam Curran back into his stumps, South Africa still needed 169 runs in 22.5 overs. Losing Rassie van der Dussen (38) just 10 balls later, also trying something fancy with a reverse-sweep, suggested Proteas fans and an excellent crowd of more than 10 000 in Bloemfontein were in for a wild rollercoaster ride.

But Aiden Markram tamed the resurgent England attack with a freeflowing 49 off 43 balls, adding 55 off 38 deliveries with Heinrich Klaasen (27) and then another 49 with David Miller.

Read more: Proteas v England – ‘Aggressive cricket key,’ says coach Shukri Conrad

Leg-spinner Adil Rashid bowled Markram with a marvellous googly for his second important breakthrough, but South Africa rode to victory on the back of a thrilling stand of 65 off just 47 balls between Miller and Marco Jansen, the young bronco who has made such an incredible arrival on the international scene.

Miller showed he is deserving of his tag as one of the great finishers, scoring 57 not out off 38 balls, and Jansen once again showed what an exceptional talent he is with 32 not out off 29 deliveries.

England had earlier finished powerfully as they posted a formidable 342/7. Sent in to bat, it was a struggle early on as the Proteas gained considerable movement as well as good bounce. The tourists could only post 42/2 in the first 10 overs.

But the middle-order responded emphatically and took control of proceedings. Harry Brook provided the impetus England wanted with a feisty 80 off just 75 balls.

Jos Buttler then batted through to the end of the innings, stroking a brilliant 94 not out off 82 deliveries, and his partnership of 106 off 86 balls with Moeen Ali (51 off 45) ensured England would get a good score.

Left-armer Parnell (10-1-54-1) was the best of the South African bowlers, while Ngidi, who conceded just 28 runs in his first seven overs, unfortunately got hammered for 39 runs in his last two overs.

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