Bavuma has ideal Test match warm-up

2017-12-22 06:30
Temba Bavuma (Gallo)

Paarl - The Proteas continued to get maximum value out of the three-day tour match between Zimbabwe and the SA Invitation XI at Boland Park on Thursday when Temba Bavuma followed Dale Steyn’s good bowling workout on the first day with his own warm-up innings ahead of next week’s Test.

If it was a good day for the home side it was a bad one for Zimbabwe who finished only 29 runs ahead with three second innings wickets in hand.

On a surface which all the other batsmen struggled to score quickly, Bavuma stroked his way to what amounted to almost a run a ball innings of 70 (77 balls, 7 fours), sharing an unexpected partnership of 81 along the way with night-watchman Tladi Bokako (41 off 62 balls, 4 fours and 2 sixes).

Bavuma had done the hard work the previous innings when the SA side started their innings under the floodlights with the pitch becoming a lot livelier than it had been earlier in the day. With a much more placid surface to encounter on the second morning the overnight pair made merry, scoring more than 50 runs in the first half-hour off just eight overs.

Bavuma played a succession of well-timed cover drives which is always the signal of a batsman in good form.

It meant that for the second time this season the Invitation XI has managed to lead its international opponents on the first innings, having achieved the same distinction in the previous match against Bangladesh.

Apart from Steyn and Bavuma there are not a lot of players with franchise experience in this line-up which suggests that the semi-professional set-up is slowly starting to make progress.

Bokako, Michael Cohen and Dayyaan Galiem are among those who have caught the eye and what has stood out has been the ability to identify and seize the moment. Bokako did it as night-watchman, Cohen in shutting down the Zimbabwe lower-order in the first innings and Galiem with  his partnership of 90 for the last wicket with the ring-wise Shaun von Berg that established the lead of 91 runs.

Galiem (57 off 54 balls, 10 fours) came to the crease with Zimbabwe still leading by three runs and Von Berg when the South Africans had a precarious lead of just a single.

Galiem excelled both in shot selection and picking length and he truly grabbed the opportunity that was provided when Chris Morris was withdrawn from the squad.

Zimbabwe will be wondering how they let it slip. Their four most experienced bowlers - Graeme Cremer, Christopher Mpofu and Kyle Jarvis - shared eight wickets between them.

It left them with a tricky 40 overs in the evening’s play.

Zimbabwe got their second innings off to the worst possible start when Hamilton Masakadza offered no stroke to the second ball of the innings and was bowled by Lizaad Williams with a delivery that trimmed the bails.

With Williams having finished the first innings with three wickets in four balls it meant that he had taken four wickets off six deliveries.

Zimbabwe continued to struggle with Williams and Cohen taking a further two wickets each which left them five down by the time they had cleared the overall deficit.

They finished the day in a precarious position.

Scores in brief at close of play on the second day of a three-day, day-night match between a South African Invitation XI and the touring Zimbabweans at Boland Park on Thursday:

Zimbabweans 196 and 120-7 (Craig Ervine 34; Lizaad Williams 3-27). South African Invitation XI 287 (Temba Bavuma 70, Tladi Bokako 41, Dayyaan Galiem 57; Graeme Cremer 4-67).

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  temba bavuma  |  cricket


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