The horrendous mix-up that led to the run-out of Theunis de Bruyn summed up the Proteas’ top-order collapse on day four.
It’s been a debut to forget for Theunis de Bruyn. The Knights skipper, brought in to open the batting alongside Dean Elgar at the expense of Stephen Cook, made a third-ball duck in the first innings, before being run-out in the second innings for 12. It highlighted a top-order collapse that saw Hashim Amla top score with 19.
De Bruyn was looking fairly settled on 12, having just pulled away Matt Henry for his third boundary of the innings. Then, out of nowhere, Amla attempted a quick single after fending one off to short mid-off.
With two fielders patrolling the area, the single wasn’t really on. However, De Bruyn could have given himself a chance had he looked for Amla’s call instead of ball-watching. It prompted a panicked response from De Bruyn, who tried to scamper to the other end, but crashed straight into Amla.
Amla managed to get himself to the other side in time, but De Bruyn was left floored, and BJ Watling removed the bails for one of the easier run-outs he’ll complete in his lifetime. All De Bruyn could do was shake his head and trudge off. Amla probably shouldn’t have gone for the single given the precarious situation the Proteas were in, but ball-watching is a basic no-no that De Bruyn shouldn’t have done.
Having said that, there’s no time for a blame game. The Proteas are on 80-5, with their chances of drawing this Test resting on Quinton de Kock (15) and Faf du Plessis (15), who will look to hang around long enough before the rain comes, with 10mm of rainfall expected after the lunch break.