Markram’s great 100 in vain

Henry

One of the best hundreds of Aiden Markram’s entire career was ultimately for nothing: India had just finished the second Test in Cape Town by seven wickets.

The match was over just after lunch on the second day when Shreyas Iyer hit the winning boundary off the bowling of Marco Jansen.

The result means that the two-Test series ended in a draw. South Africa won the first Test at SuperSportpark also at a trot (admittedly it took the team three days) by an innings and 32 runs.

However, the Newlands Test is – as far as deliveries are concerned – the shortest Test yet: Only 642 balls were bowled in the entire match.

Dean Elgar said after the first day’s play that the batsmen will have to be prepared to stand their ground against the fast bowlers on the fickle pitch.

And that’s exactly what Markram did.

The South African opening batsman resumed this morning’s innings on 36 and he had to watch helplessly as David Bedingham and Kyle Verreynne lost their wickets.

He immediately decided to fight fire with fire and he put pressure on the Indian bowlers with good batting.

Markram ended up hitting 19 boundaries in his magnificent innings of 106 runs from 103 balls and the innings must have silenced even his biggest critics.

Thanks to his impressive performance, the Proteas were able to set a target of 79 runs and on an unpredictable pitch anything was still possible.

After all, India lost six wickets in their first innings without scoring a single run.

But Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma batted aggressively and they hit the winning runs after just 12 overs.

  • Summary of the scorecard:

South Africa 55/10 in 23.2 overs: Kyle Verreynne 15, Mohammed Siraj 6/15 and Mukesh Kumar 2/0.

India 153/10 in 34.5 overs: Virat Kohli 46, Lungi Ngidi 3/30 and Kagiso Rabada 3/38.

South Africa 176/10 in 36.5 overs: Aiden Markram 106, Dean Elgar 12 and Jasprit Bumrah 6/61.

India 80/3 after 12 overs: Yashasvi Jaiswal 28 and Marco Jansen 1/15.

  • Shortest tests (by delivery):

642 balls: South Africa v India in Cape Town (2024)

656 balls: Australia v South Africa in Melbourne (1931/32)

672 balls: West Indies v England at Bridgetown (1934/35)

788 balls: England v Australia at Manchester (1888)