We take a look at Temba Bavuma’s top five rescue innings for the Proteas.
34 vs India, December 2015
Bavuma was thrown in the deep end in the fourth Test against India in Delhi. Just three innings in to his short Test career and unused throughout a Test series that they’d already lost, the selectors gave him a go at the top of the order, and he proved to be the batsman most up for the fight in trying circumstances. The Proteas were bowled out for 121 and 143 respectively, but Bavuma used up 172 balls across the two innings. In the second innings, with Dean Elgar gone and Hashim Amla in survival mode, Bavuma hit four fours and a six off Ravichandran Ashwin, before departing for his 117-ball 34.
46 vs New Zealand, August 2016
In what was the Proteas’ first Test since their series defeat to England at the beginning of the year, the public eagerly awaited whether or not their side could bounce back. At 106-4 in the first innings against the Black Caps in Durban, it looked like they were in for more disappointment. The introduction to the crease of Bavuma changed that, as he shared 50-run stands with Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock to carry them out of danger. Bavuma fell for 46 as they managed to post 263, before rain spoiled the contest.
51 vs Australia, November 2016
Another top-order collapse in the first Test against Australia in Perth had the public believing they were going to be in for a long series, but Bavuma, together with the counter-attacking prowess of De Kock, turned that on its head. Bavuma knuckled down with Du Plessis, before amassing a 71-run stand with De Kock, ruining the momentum the Aussies had. De Kock fired 84 off just 101 balls, and that set the tone for the rest of the match, and indeed the series.
74 vs Australia, November 2016
The same double act followed in Hobart. After their crushing 177-run turnaround victory, the Proteas smelt blood. The hosts were bowled out for just 85 thanks to Vernon Philander’s 5-21. In response the Proteas were on 76-5, with the match still wide open. That was until Bavuma and De Kock were at the crease yet again. Bavuma scored 74, De Kock 104, as their 134-run stand ruined the Baggy Greens. They ended up getting 326, before castling their opponents for an innings and 80-run victory.
89 vs New Zealand, March 2017
The top-order collapses are as worrying as the Bavuma/De Kock show is pleasing, in what is becoming a very familiar trend. The Proteas were stranded on 94-6 in the second Test in Wellington, but another lopsided batting attack produced the goods for the Proteas, and it was Bavuma and De Kock’s best yet. Both players fell agonisingly short of centuries to score 89 and 91 respectively, but 94-6 became 254-6, before Philander’s 34 and Morne Morkel’s 40 laid the foundations for a crushing eight-wicket victory inside three days.