BPXI vs SA: Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma thwart Indian bowlers

Markram and Bavuma helped South Africa reach 199 for 4 at stumps on Day Two of the warm-up contest.

In full flow: Aiden Markram en route to his unbeaten century. Photo: K. R. Deepak

Aiden Markram made most of the huge opportunity to bat on the second day after a delayed start and scored his second consecutive century on this tour (100 retd. hurt) as South Africa scored a healthy 199 for four at close of play against Board President’s XI at Dr. P. V. G. Raju Sports Complex here on Friday.

Bad light stopped play immediately after captain Faf du Plessis was trapped lbw by left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, 90 minutes before scheduled close of play.

AS IT HAPPENED

After wet outfield delayed the start, action finally began at 12.10 pm and opener Markram was off the blocks in a hurry, despatching fast bowler Umesh Yadav for three fours in his second over. Relishing the ball coming into him on leg-stump, the in-form opener was more comfortable and confident than a hesitant Dean Elgar.

Early breakthroughs

Shardul Thakur was more impressive than his new-ball partner Umesh, making the batsmen hurry on to the back foot with a far more accurate line, but ironically, it was Umesh who provided the first breakthrough. He squared up southpaw Elgar only to snick to gully. It was interesting to see captain Rohit Sharma check with Umesh before the start of the over whether the latter was happy with the slip cordon; the bowler respond in style, bowling to the field.

Theunis de Bruyn was trapped leg-before-wicket by pacer Ishan Porel, and Jadeja struck with his second ball to have Zubayr Hamza lbw on the shuffle. But the combine of Markram and Temba Bavuma served a reminder of their potential to counter the Indian bowlers in conditions alien to them and on a very humid and hot day.

Reminiscent of Gus Logie

Bavuma reminded the old-timers of the diminutive Gus Logie of the famed Clive Lloyd-led West Indian line-up. Importantly, Bavuma showed he has plenty of time to adjust to the pace and good bounce of the pitch with his confident back-foot play.

Prized scalp: Dharmendrasinh Jadeja (left) celebrates after getting Faf du Plessis out leg-before-wicket. Photo: K. R. Deepak

Markram was confidence personified as he didn’t hesitate to use his feet against the spinners. He especially treated Dharmendrasinh Jadeja with elan — carting him for a couple of sixes over long-on. He was not afraid either to pick the gaps on the offside off the pacers with superb timing.

By all means, it was classy batting by Markram and Bavuma which in a way also tested the preparedness of Umesh, who is drafted into the Indian team for the first Test from October 2 at Visakhapatnam.

The scores
  • South Africa - 1st innings: Aiden Markram retd hurt 100, Dean Elgar c Panchal b Umesh Yadav 6, Theunis de Bruyn lbw b Ishan Porel 6, Zubayr Hamza lbw b Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 22, Tenda Bavuma 55 not out, Faf du Plessis lbw b Jadeja 9.
  • Extras: (1lb) 1.
  • Total: (for four wkts in 50 overs) 199
  • Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-33, 3-78, 4-199.
  • Board President's XI bowling: Umesh Yadav 7-0-31-1, Shardul Thakur 10-3-34-0, Ishan Porel 6-1-11-1, Avesh Khan 10-1-44-0, Jalaj Saxena 7-1-26-0, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 10-1-52-2