Aviwe Mgijima’s maiden ton in his 50th first-class match, to help the Cobras salvage a draw against the Knights in Bloemfontein, is SACricketmag.com‘s Play of the Day.
It was a great recovery from the Cobras after being skittled for 159 and conceding 623 Knights runs, but they showed grit to fight their way back into the contest in their second innings.
Hashim Amla and Justin Ontong set the tone for the Cobras until Mgijima stepped in and scored a vital 112 to help his side past 500 before the loss of his wicket.
This helped the Cobras squeeze out a draw on the final day.
‘There are two types of centuries that count – those who win you games and those that draw you matches and all three of our centurions – Hashim, Aviwe Mgijima and Justin Ontong – helped us to achieve that draw,’ said Prince, the Cape Cobras coach.
This was Mgijima’s 50th match and having scored 11 fifties in his career, scored his first ever first-class ton in fine fashion.
Prince said that his performance was the result of two winters of extremely hard work.
‘Last season he batted at number seven, and when you are playing with the lower order, you might manufacture shots here and there.
‘But this time he was playing at number six and knew there were still players below him who can perform with the bat,’ Prince added.
Mgijima was understandably elated about his first first-class ton but chose to congratulate the team rather than reflect too extensively on his century.
‘When I was on 96, I struck the ball past cover off Werner Coetsee to get to 100. I was not that demonstrative,’ said Mgijima.
‘I was batting with Kyle Verreynne at the time. I went back into my shell because I did not want to lose my wicket and allow them to skittle us out.
‘We showed a lot of character today [Friday], something we discussed at length before the season started. We wanted to bat for the full day, and I was determined to stay there until we had saved the day.’
Photo: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images