Aiden Markram lit up Wanderers Stadium with a classy inning for South Africa on day one of the final Test against Pakistan to earn today’s Play of the Day award, writes ANITHA MADIKIZELA.
Markram was at his best once again for the Proteas with a sensational 90 off 124 balls, raking up 16 fours with a volley of fantastic strokes as he continued the good run of form he rediscovered at Newlands.
Having lost his opening partner (and stand-in captain) Dean Elgar early in the innings, Markram paired up with Hashim Amla (41 off 98 balls, 6×4) for the second wicket and put on a brilliant 126-run stand as they put the Pakistan bowlers to the sword.
After the Proteas won the toss and elected to bat first, the 24-year-old opener came out all guns blazing and was the more aggressive of the batsmen, accumulating his runs quickly. He smashed his way to an unbeaten 78 by the lunch interval, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Brilliant stuff by @AidzMarkram in the first session for South Africa. What are your thoughts on the Proteas' first session?
ICYMI: SA are 108/1 after 28 overs.#ProteaFire #SAvPAK pic.twitter.com/XaMnYIIQaR
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) January 11, 2019
The carnage continued after lunch as he raced to 90 runs at a strike rate of 72.58 as he laid the foundations for a potentially mammoth first inning for South Africa. Markram will have been disappointed to have been dismissed in the 90s for the third time in his short career – this time nicking one that was straying down leg into the gloves of Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.
While he was unfortunate not to reach three figures this time out around, he will be pleased to have found his form once again after a string of disappointing innings at the tail end of 2018.
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images