Rilee Rossouw picked up the baton from his fallen comrade Hashim Amla to save Hampshire from defeat against Somerset at Taunton in the County Championship.
Amla, on 86 overnight, duly went on to his second century of the championship, cementing his place as the top run-scorer in Division One with 492 runs from nine innings, 64 ahead of his teammate, James Vince.
When he fell, on 107 in Hampshire’s second innings and still 42 runs behind Somerset’s first innings of 506, Rossouw was there to carry on the good Saffa work.
He ended on 65 in support of Vince, who is fighting to keep his No 3 position in the England line-up. The Hampshire captain, who struggled in the England shirt on the tour Down Under, ended unbeaten on 201, which will help to influence the selectors’ decision ahead of the first Test against Pakistan, starting May 24.
He and Amla put on 194 for the third wicket as Hampshire battled to overcome a 275-run deficit from the first innings. Amla fell after adding just 21 to his overnight score, having faced 203 balls, hitting 15 fours.
After a brief cameo by Tom Alsop (12), Rossouw and Vince dug in together to add 176 in 55 overs, with the latter passing 200. Soon afterward, the bell was wrung and it was off to the pub.
Rossouw showed he could grind it out with the best of them, taking 174 balls, and scoring 10 fours and a six.
The former ODI and T20 Protea, who took a Kolpak contract in 2017, has had a lean time recently; 29 being his best score in seven innings before this match. But he found some form in the first innings with a fighting 38, the second-best score, behind Vince’s 44.