If Temba Bavuma was the glue that held South Africa’s batting together, then Marnus Labuschagne must undoubtedly be the match that lit Australia’s bonfires.
Australia wrapped up the first ODI against South Africa in Bloemfontein by three wickets after the visitors staggered at one stage with their score at 113/7.
But Labuschagne – who is not part of the Aussies’ World Cup plans – sent a strong message to the selectors with his innings: He is a very good white-ball cricketer.
The Klerksdorp native once again played his role as a concussion replacement excellently. He now had to fill Cameron Green’s shoes after one of Kagiso Rabada’s deliveries hit him on the head.
South Africa’s bowlers did indeed come up with a few good balls, but at the same time they also dished out hopelessly too many poor deliveries and Labuschagne was able to carry out a counter-attack together with Ashton Agar.
They enjoyed an unbeaten partnership of 112 runs for the ninth wicket to see Australia seal the match in the 41st over.
Earlier, Bavuma was practically standing alone against the Aussie bowlers.
The Protea captain scored 114* runs from 142 deliveries and he was there with the first delivery of the South African batting effort and when Josh Hazlewood bowled the last wicket of the innings.
It is true that he was almost caught out twice – with his score at 2 and again at 88 – but he became only the second South African to remain standing for the entire innings while the rest of the team’s batsmen all made the trek back to the dressing room had to tackle.
Fortune favors the brave! ????
Temba Bavuma scores a century as South Africa ends their innings on 222 ????????
— SuperSport ???? (@SuperSportTV) September 7, 2023
Herschelle Gibbs was the first to accomplish this feat in 2000.
The second game in the series will be decided on Saturday at 13:00 and the action will be broadcast on SuperSport.
- Scorecard Summary:
South Africa 222/10 in 49 overs: Temba Bavuma 114*, Marco Jansen 32 and Josh Hazlewood 3/41.
Australia 225/7 in 40.2 overs: Marnus Labuschagne 80*, Ashton Agar 48* and Gerald Coetzee 2/44.