Temba Bavuma’s career-best 144 was in vain as the Proteas suffered a 48-run defeat to the West Indies in the second ODI at Buffalo Park on Saturday.
New captain Shai Hope hit a match-winning century for the West Indies but he admitted he had anxious moments as Bavuma played what he described as “a brilliant innings”.
“I forgot how difficult this game was,” said Hope as he accepted the Man of the Match award.
Hope, playing his first international match since August, made 128* in a total of 335-8 – a record for the West Indies against South Africa.
But for more than half the Proteas innings it looked as though it might not be enough.
Bavuma followed up his Test-best 172 against the West Indies a week earlier with his highest ODI score before the home team were bowled out for 287.
HIGHLIGHTS: Proteas vs West Indies (2nd ODI)
The Proteas made a flying start with Quinton de Kock hitting a dazzling 48 off 26 balls in an opening stand of 76 off 52 deliveries with Bavuma.
They stayed well ahead of the required rate and reached 184 in the 25th over before Tony de Zorzi was third man out.
The hosts slumped to 238-8 but Bavuma found an unlikely ally in Lungi Ngidi in a ninth-wicket stand worth 49 before Bavuma gloved a catch to wicketkeeper Hope off Alzarri Joseph.
Temba Bavuma hits three sixes in an over to keep the Proteas’ hopes alive. #SAvWI pic.twitter.com/Kk7VhNEx3A
— SA Cricket magazine (@SACricketmag) March 18, 2023
Hope, captaining the West Indies for the first time, stayed calm as the pressure mounted. He praised Joseph and left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein, who both took three wickets.
“The rate that they were going we needed to take wickets,” he said. “I just liked to see the way Alzarri came back. He didn’t start very well [conceding 35 runs in his first three overs] but he showed what he is worth. And Akeal did what he does best.”
The Proteas fielded four new caps, including three of the top six batsmen.
“We’re a young and inexperienced side,” said Bavuma. “The guys can learn from pressure situations.”
Bavuma said some of South Africa’s leading players, who were rested for the first two matches, would be available for selection for the final match in Potchefstroom on Tuesday.
The first ODI in the three-match series was abandoned without a ball bowled at the same venue because of rain on Thursday.
© Agence France-Presse