There was no shortage of candidates for this week’s MVP award.
Recognition must be given to the West Indian batsmen Kraigg Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels, whose centuries at Port Elizabeth were immeasurable in restoring the dignity of the team after their humiliating defeat in the first Test, instilling respect and creating excitement for the Newlands Test.
But once again, we lean towards players who contributed to the outcome, and in this respect, we have to go for Kyle Abbott, the Proteas and Dolphins bowler who took eight wickets in the demolition of the Titans in the recent Sunfoil match at Durban.
He took three for 45 in the first innings and five for 49 in the second as the Titans battled against a first innings total of 508 for eight declared.
If there was a prize for this award, it would be nice if Abbott shared it with his teammate Ryan McLaren, who came in at No 7 and hammered an unbeaten 126 off 185 balls (15×4, 1×6). The Dolphins were 310 for five when he came in, which was comfortable enough, but his innings extinguished whatever hopes the Titans had of reeling in the Dolphins. After his knock, the Titans were staring at the abyss.