Bavuma Runs seal Series

Aiden Markram (49), David Miller (37-ball unbeaten 58), and Rassie van der Dussen (38) all contributed to Temba Bavuma’s commanding 102-ball 109 as South Africa defeated England by five wickets. The victory kept South Africa in the running for direct qualification to the 50-over World Cup and gave them an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Quinton de Kock and Bavuma gave the hosts the strong start they needed to achieve their lofty objective of 343 points. When confronting Topley and Woakes, the South African captain cranked the whip, drove, and slogged. In the seventh over, De Kock struck Woakes for two boundaries and a six, putting on a strong display of batting. Olly Stone removed De Kock from the game in the 12th over against the flow of play, and Ben Duckett took a great catch.

To keep South Africa in the game, Bavuma continued to play with a sense of adventure and combined for 97 with Van der Dussen. The cut stroke that Bavuma cracked off Stone and Van van Dussen hitting the pull off Stone may have been the highlights of that stand. Bavuma also hit his century in the 25th over; he delightedly punched the air and removed his helmet to mark the occasion. After amazing batting, Bavuma has been offered a very good deal from SA20 for joining Sunrisers Eastern Cape.

However, Bavuma quickly lost focus as he sank to a soft dismissal in front of Sam Curran. When Adil Rashid removed Van der Dussen in the 29th over, England scored again. In less than six overs, Klaasen and Aiden Makram put together another time-sensitive stand of 55. As South Africa got closer, David Miller and Makram added a 49-run partnership.

When Adil Rashid used a peach of a googly to clean up Markram, it did set the room aflutter. To keep the scoreboard going, though, the seasoned Miller and Marco Jansen made the big shots, including the loft and slog-sweeps. Miller finally hit Woakes for a six off the opening ball of the final over to put the game away. In the 48th over, Moeen Ali missed a difficult opportunity off Stone, giving Jansen some solace.

Jos Buttler had earlier scored a commanding 94 not out, and Moeen Ali (51) and Harry Brook both made significant contributions to help England surpass the 300-run threshold. After being put in to bat, the visitors got off to a mediocre start, losing both Dawid Malan and Jason Roy in the first seven overs. A 49-run third-wicket stand between Harry Brook and Ben Duckett at that point stabilised the batting.

In the 17th over, Duckett eventually lost the match, with Keshav Maharaj taking the loss. The following stand was improved upon by Brook and Buttler as they formed a timely alliance of 73. Moeen Ali and Buttler teamed together to put on a partnership of 105 after Aiden Markram removed Brook. Moeen, who has experienced a protracted slump in ODIs, played with some freedom, executing the drive, slog-sweep, and pull while also scoring fifty.

After Moeen was killed, Buttler accelerated. Particularly harsh treatment was meted out to Ngidi, who was bashed for three sixes and a boundary in the 47th over by Buttler and Sam Curran. The pair once more sent a barrage of drives through midwicket and the downtown areas in Ngidi’s subsequent delivery. In the final over of bowling by Nortje, Curran did lose his wicket. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out to be sufficient for England. Banuma will be the South Africa’s white ball captain and has a chance to play T20 once more!