Bavuma warns SA to exercise caution when they approach the low target of 149 set by Pakistan
Proteas middle-order batsman Temba Bavuma says the South Africans will have to exercise caution when they approach the low target of 149 set by Pakistan if they are to win the Boxing Day Test.
Bavuma‚ who top scored for the Proteas in the first innings with a score of 53 off 87‚ said the first 15 to 20 overs on Friday will be crucial if they are to take a 1-0 lead in this series that has two more legs in Cape Town and Johannesburg in the new year.
“The first 15 to 20 overs are going to be key on Friday and we will have to be as positive as we can‚” he said.
“We must assert ourselves as much as we can because Pakistan have a very good bowling attack and it won’t be easy on this pitch.
"If we can dominate those first 15 and 20 overs‚ we will make things a lot easier for guys coming in the middle.
"The most important thing is to always be positive‚ look to score runs and try to put away an odd bad ball.
"We must be patient to ensure that we get the team over the line.”
Bavuma‚ who went into this match without any match practice as he was in the late stages of rehabilitation from injury‚ said he enjoyed being back on the pitch and playing competitive cricket again.
“It was a bit tricky for me in terms of preparation leading up to the series because I could not do much of running‚" he said.
"But in saying that‚ I had to find a way and I enjoyed my knock.
"The wicket was tricky but I enjoyed the challenge and to do well under those conditions.”
Pakistan batsman Shan Masood‚ who scored 65 in their second innings‚ insisted that it was possible to restrict South Africa and win the match.
“If you look at the first innings‚ we had South Africa 44/4 and we bowled well to their new batsman‚" he said.
"It is Test cricket and we have been in these situations ourselves.
"Ideally we would have liked to have a target of close to 200‚” he said‚ adding that the most important thing for them on Friday is to get early wickets.
“The most important thing for us will be early wickets and the second thing will be to contain the runs.
"As you have seen over the two days‚ there has been a lot of boundary runs‚ we will have to contain that and hopefully we can get a few wickets that put them on the back foot.
"If we want to beat South Africa here‚ we have to deal with pressure moments."