England assistant coach Paul Farbrace was full of praise for Temba Bavuma, after he struck a maiden Test century to help his side go on level terms with England going into the final day at Newlands.
It was another long day in the field for the English, as they only picked up four more wickets before the Proteas declared two runs short of their total. The 211 overs that they had to weather surpassed the 202 overs they had to endure when Brian Lara struck 400 against them in Antigua.
While Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis did the damage on day two and three, day four belonged to Temba Bavuma, and instead of searching for excuses as to what happened, Farbrace took the time to congratulate the 25-year-old.
‘I think Bavuma played magnificently right from the start,’ said Farbrace. ‘On the front and back foot, it was an outstanding innings. He looks a really talented player.’
Despite the missed chances in the field from the tourists – there were as many as 10 in all – Farbrace saw the positive side. ‘I’m extremely disappointed with the missed chances, but the upside is we created chances on a flat pitch. We’ve worked incredibly hard. We’re not going to make excuses … it’s not through lack of hard work or through lack of practice, it’s just something we have to keep working on. At the same time, we’ve missed chances to really get an advantage in the game.
‘I think we’ve done pretty well, to be fair,’ he continued. ‘We’ve created chances and continued to bang it in and use the angle at the crease. Steven Finn who was a doubt at the start of the series, has been our stand-out bowler, and the longer the game has gone on, Anderson has done really well.’
Ben Stokes, who hit 258 in the first innings, was seen mouthing a few words in anger to Bavuma, but Farbrace was quick to deny there was any malice in his actions. ‘The spirit between the two sides has been fantastic; the relationship between the players has been outstanding. If you’ve been in the field for over 200 overs there are going to be frustrations. There’s a lot of good friendships between the players. Ben was the first person to shake his hand and tell him how well he’s played.’