When it comes to cricket, I prefer ODIs or T20s. They are shorter and far more entertaining than a drawn out Test match. I understand the importance of Test cricket but watching it can be downright painful. There are bursts of excitement followed by hours of dullness. Thus, I normally just follow what’s happening on social media.
This Test has proven to be absolutely exceptional! Not only have we seen some excellent batting from both South Africa and England, history was made at Newlands on day four when Temba Bavuma became the first–ever black South African to score a century for the Proteas.
When English all-rounder Ben Stokes racked up 258 runs off 198 balls on day two, South African supporters everywhere cringed. That coupled with his 399-run sixth-wicket partnership with Jonny Bairstow left many of us convinced that it was over.
— Sunfoil Cricket (@SunfoilCricket) January 5, 2016
The Proteas were 488 runs behind at the start of day three and catching up seemed like an uphill battle. But then Hashim Amla (Oh captain! My captain!) pulled out an amazing performance by scoring a double century on day 3, and the #ProteaFire burned brightly once more.
This momentum carried on to day four where the Proteas closed the gap significantly, declaring on 627/7 to England’s 629/6.
But back to Bavuma. He had a stunning game, and his maiden century is such a significant one. Like with most sport in South Africa, the need for black players, particularly batsmen in cricket has been scarce and a long controversial debate. Bavuma’s maiden century adds much-needed momentum to that debate and shows that there is hope for black batsmen in South African cricket.
Politics aside, this Test match is one of the greatest Newlands has ever seen. It’s far more fascinating than some of the ODIs and this has made me rethink my stance on Test cricket. I can’t wait to see what happens on the final day. Now the only thing left to say is GO PROTEAS!
UPDATE: The second Test ended in a draw due to bad light and weather conditions.
Photography courtesy Newlands Cricket