Temba Bavuma chose the perfect day to get his second Test hundred as he helped South Africa survive a crisis and emerge on top on the third day of the second Test against the West Indies at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Friday.
It was also the end of a long wait for Proteas captain Bavuma as he had scored his first century more than seven years ago.
Riding Bavuma’s 171 not out, South Africa reached stumps on 287/7 in their second innings, with an overall lead of 356.
Bavuma hit Windies Alzarri Joseph over cover for his 14th boundary to reach his hundred, took off his helmet, leapt in the air and acknowledged the applause from a small crowd, who gave him a standing ovation.
The hundred also opened up more shots from Bavuma’s bat. While he needed 192 balls to reach the three-figure mark, he made 71 off the next 83 balls. In the process, he hit a total of 20 boundaries.
Bavuma made his first hundred in his seventh Test — a drawn match against England at Newlands in Cape Town in January 2016. Since then, 48 Tests and 88 innings passed without the 32-year-old getting another hundred, despite hitting 19 half-centuries.
Out for a ‘pair’ in the last Test, Bavuma came to crease on Friday when the Proteas were in trouble at 8/2. As the Windies bowlers put up an impressive show, the South Africans struggled, reaching 103/5 — a lead of just 172 runs.
But Bavuma turned the tables with a 103-run partnership with Wiaan Mulder, who made 42. The South African captain then continued to frustrate the Caribbean bowlers as he stitched a 71-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Simon Harmer.
Brief scores: South Africa 320 & 287/7 (Temba Bavuma 171 batting). West Indies 251. At stumps, Day III.