Aiden Markram’s maiden hundred, in his second Test against Bangladesh, is our Play of the Day.
The 23-year-old was cruelly denied a hundred on debut in Potchefstroom, when in his eagerness to help his partner, Dean Elgar, reach his own hundred, he was left stranded when Elgar changed his mind about a quick single. Markram was on 97, having played magnificently and looking good for a massive score.
In Bloemfontein, Markram played a measured innings which started carefully and then built momentum: His first fifty came off 81 balls, his second off 60, each containing eight fours. It was chanceless and illuminated by his trademark drives to the off.
Lunch obviously reinvigorated the youngster. He was trailing Elgar 71-54 at the break, but within six overs, they were neck and neck in the race to a hundred. Elgar was first there off 116 balls, and Markram followed shortly afterwards off 141 balls (16×4). Sadly, he fell to one of the few great deliveries of the day as Rubel Hossain speared an inswinger at 140km/h through the gate and took away his middle stump. He walked back on 143, off 186 balls, with 22 fours.
Markram may have fallen victim to the first bit of constructive thinking on the part of Bangladesh, for Rubel had pinned him back with a series of short balls and then launched a superb yorker.
‘It hasn’t quite hit home yet. I think it will at some stage tonight.’ Markram said immediately after play. ‘It’s quite a proud moment for me, especially after last week. Today I had a little bit of extra focus in the 90s. Dean was with me. And he said it’s a special moment to have shared with me. It was nice for him to have been at the other end.’
This brings us to 255 – the number of runs Markram has scored in his first three innings in Proteas whites.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images