Quinton de Kock smashed 91 off 118 balls on day two to steady the ship after a top-order collapse at the Basin Reserve on Friday.
The shadow hovering over the 24-year-old’s head was whether he could shake off the Jeetan Patel curse, which saw him dismissed by the off-spinner four times on the tour. It was no surprise, after South Africa lost their top six for 94 runs, that Patel would instantly come in to take on De Kock.
He batted beautifully, showing no evidence of his previous slump as he raced to his eighth half-century in 55 balls (six fours and two sixes). Two of those fours came against Patel, who was on the ropes against the left-hander. De Kock got sweet revenge in the 64th over, smacking 13 runs off Patel to erase the hold that the 36-year-old had over the youngster.
De Kock scored a total of 37 runs (four fours and a six) against Patel (0-53) until he was undone by James Neesham on 91, after lifting the Proteas to 254-7.
Special mention must go to his partnership with Temba Bavuma, who ended his innings on 89 off 160 balls, as the pair put on 160 for the seventh wicket to get South Africa back on track.
Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images