Bavuma, Van der Dussen tons help SA post imposing total in first ODI
SA powered to 296/4 on the back of brilliant centuries from Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen in the first ODI against India at Boland Park in Paarl on Wednesday.
The pair added a record 204-run partnership for the fourth wicket for this ground as they helped propel SA to a commanding score after Bavuma won the toss and elected to bat in sweltering heat.
The mercury is set to rise to 37 degrees in Paarl today and the pair, both coming to bat wearing long sleeves, had to proverbially roll them up when they joined forces, with the Proteas going along at a pedestrian rate on 68/3 in the 18th over.
While Bavuma provided the solidity in his captain's knock, it was Van der Dussen who helped take SA through the gears on a slow but flat surface.
Van der Dussen continued his outstanding form in the ODI format as he looked in touch from the moment he got to the crease. He ended on an unbeaten personal best 129 (96 balls, nine 4s, four 6s).
Van der Dussen brought much-needed impetus to the innings. Alert running between the wickets with provincial teammate Bavuma plus the harsh treatment of wayward deliveries were the hallmarks of his innings.
In scoring his second ODI 100, Bavuma lifted his average in this format above 50. The captain was eventually caught in the deep for 110 (143 balls, 8x4).
Bavuma wasn't timing it as well as his batting partner and had to dig deep. He copped a painful body blow when Shardul Thakur attempted to run him out but only succeeded in hitting the shortest player on display in the first ODI. Bavuma winced but soldiered on.
Later, with the SA captain well set, former India captain Virat Kohli found a way to introduce himself into the proceedings. Bavuma had stroked the ball into the covers but was forced into taking evasive action as it came flying back towards him via the hand of the irascible Kohli.
Words were exchanged and Kohli, who stepped down as India's Test captain in the wake of India's series defeat to the Proteas, did not appear to offer an apology.
Earlier Janneman Malan, who has been particularly proficient against the white ball at international level, would have been desperately disappointed at the tame way he departed on his home ground. He played a shot that was thoroughly devoid of conviction outside off-stump and was caught behind off Jasprit Bumrah.
Quinton de Kock, back in the fold after his sudden decision to quit international hostilities against the red ball, played a few crisp shots early on as Bumrah was still trying to settle on a length. He also fell early.
Like Malan's, Aiden Markram's recent ODI activity was performed with a sense of purpose but his most recent appearances in an SA shirt have been a little flat.
With India applying the squeeze, runs were increasingly hard to come by, which of course means undue risk became part of the equation.
It was against that backdrop that Markram set off for a single laden with peril and was run out.
That brought together Bavuma and Van der Dussen who constructed a partnership that may define this match.