The Standard Bank Proteas bowlers are geared up to put in a collective effort to claim seven wickets for victory on the final day of the first Sunfoil Test match against Bangladesh at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom. The injury blow to pace spearhead, Morne Morkel, has been an unfortunate setback, along with the inclement weather which has been forecast to affect the fifth day’s proceedings.
Debutant, Andile Phehlukwayo, will have an important role to play in the second innings, after a partial contribution of six overs with a maiden Test wicket of dangerman, Tamim Iqbal, in the first innings. Proteas batsman, Temba Bavuma, is confident Phehlukwayo and the rest of the attack will have enough fire-power and mettle to push on for a series-leading performance.
“ Andile has fitted in well in the team, he doesn’t feel like it’s his debut,” Bavuma said after the day’s play on Sunday. “ Looking at the wicket and the way it has played he will definitely play a big role in the second innings. We saw what he could do in the first innings, he kept the batters quiet. Here with the variable bounce and the straighter lines that he bowls he will come to the party.
“It is a massive blow,” he said of Morkel’s injury. “ Morne is the leader of the attack and he was hot at that point in time. Luckily we have got guys in the reserve tank, I will be bringing my bowling spikes tomorrow as well. Andile, Keshav, KG and Duanne are all capable of putting up their hands and doing good for the team.”
Earlier, Faf du Plessis (81) and Bavuma’s (62) 142-run fourth-wicket partnership set the tone and intent of a push towards victory, but also highlighted the latter’s ability to adapt his style of play.
Bavuma was promoted to the number four position in the last Test match against England in Manchester, and seems to have comfortably settled into the position, where he currently averages 53.33. He attributes his innings tempo to the situation of the match, and has fitted in to accommodate the varying styles of his regular batting partners, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis.
“ I try to play the situation of the game as well as I can,” he said of his batting. “ When I came in yesterday, we had lost two quick wickets, I felt my job was to try and get the team to the end of the day. I tried to almost compromise the runs and to try and get us into a strong position. Today, the team tactic was to get to lunch, my thinking was to get to lunch, I knew that at some point the runs would come.
“ Batting with Faf and Amla, I think I enjoy the tempos they bat with,” he explained. “ Amla at the top of the order and because of the situation of the game tried to anchor the innings to get us to a good position. When Faf came in he brought a lot of intensity and energy, and I tried to feed off that. I have enjoyed batting with Hash and Faf quite a bit.”
Morkel sustained a left side strain while bowling in the sixth over of his spell and was unable to continue bowling following treatment and assessment. He will be taken for scans on Monday morning to determine the full extent of the injury.