Proteas batsmen fail to build on solid starts

2016-08-19 18:03
Temba Bavuma (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Proteas were left to rue a day of wasted opportunities as the New Zealand Black Caps restricted them to a total of 236/8 on the opening day of the two-Test series at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Friday.
Faf du Plessis had won the toss and, although all seven specialist batsmen got into double figures, only two of them – Hashim Amla (53 off 71 balls, 10 fours) and Temba Bavuma (46 off 90 balls, 7 fours) went past 40.
Amla was in sublime form, stroking a succession of quality boundaries including three in one over from Doug Bracewell, and both he and Stephen Cook fell to outstanding wicket-taking deliveries from Trent Boult (2/42 in 17 overs) who was the pick of a competent New Zealand attack.
Fellow left-armer, Neil Wagner, also chimed in with three wickets, making effective use of a short-pitching strategy, while left-arm spinner, Mitchell Santner, struck two telling blows when he dismissed both Quinton de Kock and Bavuma in the space of three deliveries.
The big problem for the Proteas was that they kept on losing wickets in pairs and, when they did get a partnership going, they were not able to turn it into something really substantial. Amla and JP Duminy, promoted to No 4, put on 61 for the third wicket, Du Plessis and Bavuma 54 for the fifth and Bavuma and De Kock 48 for the sixth.
Bavuma and De Kock were looking like giving the Proteas control after the Black Caps had pinned the Proteas down in the afternoon session, but the exuberance of youth accounted for De Kock who sliced a catch to deep long-off after hitting the two previous deliveries to the boundary with quality strokes.
Bavuma then attempted a premeditated sweep to fall leg before wicket.
The innings of Amla, Bavuma and De Kock all revealed the importance of decisive footwork.
The Black Caps are just two overs away from the second new ball and will fancy their chances of bowling the Proteas out quickly on the second morning.
In spite of the loss of half an hour before the start of play through a damp outfield, the playing of a Test match at Kingsmead in August seemed well justified. A full six hours of play would have been possible but for the delayed start.
The pitch was slow but there was something in it for the seamers for the first couple of hours while there was also some assistance for the spin of Santner.

Read more on:    proteas  |  cricket


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