Faf du Plessis and Temba Bavuma shared the sort of partnership that Newlands deserves for its annual New Year Test match celebration of cricket. The pair managed to share a century partnership before tea on the second day of the second Test in Cape Town.
Despite boasting the highest batting average in the current Proteas side for 2018, Bavuma’s place in the side seems to be a constant topic of debate in chat rooms and pubs around the land. The now retired AB de Villiers averaged 53.16 in Tests in 2018, with Bavuma second on the list of Proteas on 42.14, above England skipper Joe Root and Australia’s David Warner.
Bavuma and Du Plessis played out a perfect session of Test cricket at Newlands, especially considering the match position. Needing to push at least 150 to 200 runs ahead of Pakistan’s first innings total to have a chance of an innings victory, the pair played with caution when required, treated the tricky Pakistan pace attack with respect, and were quick to send anything loose or deserving to the boundary ropes.
It was slow but glorious Test cricket as the pair tightened the screws on Pakistan, offering them nothing as they shielded the Proteas’ lower middle-order. The pair batted through the session, adding 93 runs in the session to take the score to 281-4 at the break, with Du Plessis 80 not out and Bavuma on 60.
The pair has now built the perfect platform from where the Proteas bowlers can look to attack the Pakistan batters on day three and – if the match lasts that long – day four.
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images