Proteas’ captain Temba Bavuma scored an unbeaten 90 as he led his team to a comfortable win in Friday’s ODI against the Netherlands in Benoni.
Cape Town — Job done. Or at least one half of it.
The Proteas have acquired 10 crucial ICC Super League ODI points, virtue of a comfortable eight-wicket victory over the Netherlands at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Friday evening, in their bid to qualify automatically for the ICC World Cup in India later this year.
The win saw the Proteas overtake Sri Lanka, who had lost their final match of the Super League phase to New Zealand in Hamilton earlier on Friday. The Proteas now have 88 points, equal that of eighth-placed West Indies who have also completed their allocation of matches.
Only the top eight teams, including hosts India, on the ICC Super League table qualify automatically for the Men’s World Cup.
The Proteas, however, still have one match remaining against the Dutch on Sunday at the Wanderers. A victory at the Bullring will take the Proteas to 98 points, and they can then only be hauled in if Ireland, who are currently in 11th place on 68 points, cleansweep Bangladesh 3-0 in May.
Coach Rob Walter would be pleased with the overall performance of his team after the bowlers wrapped up the Netherlands innings for just 189 in 46.1 overs before captain Temba Bavuma took the responsibility on his own shoulders to lead his team home with a classy undefeated 90.
The Proteas skipper is currently in the form of his life, having struck three centuries across formats over the past month, and looked set for a fourth ton before the winning runs were struck in just the 30th over. Bavuma’s impressive form certainly bodes well for the Proteas in a World Cup year should they qualify automatically.
Furthermore, the Proteas’ new positive intent also came to the fore with Bavuma and Aiden Markram sharing an unbroken 102-run partnership for the third wicket. Both batters were willing to take the game forward despite knowing the Proteas would win comfortably as they still looked to accelerate the run-scoring when they were in the ascendancy.
Markram would certainly take plenty of confidence from being able to finally transfer his short-format form to the longer white-ball arena as he brought up his first ODI half-century since October last year.
Bavuma also shared a rapid 70-run partnership with Rassie van der Dussen (31) to lay the platform after opening partner Quinton de Kock was dismissed cheaply for nine.
Earlier, the Proteas bowling unit had an inauspicious start, with Kagiso Rabada, in particular, delivering an off-colour performance with the new ball. This allowed Vikramjit Singh to play freely, especially when Rabada drifted the ball onto his pads, which allowed him to flick the ball comfortably to the boundary.
The Dutch capitalised on the poor start from the Proteas with Singh and Max O’Dowd bringing up a 50-run partnership for the first wicket in just the ninth over.
Marco Jansen, who was back in the starting XI for Wayne Parnell, tried to keep things tight from the other end before the introduction of Sisanda Magala.
The burly all-rounder struck in his second over to bring about the all-important opening breakthrough when he found O’Dowd’s outside edge in the 11th over. O’Dowd departed for 11 and the Netherlands were 58/1.
Singh, though, was not perturbed by the loss of his opening partner as he shortly afterwards struck the third six of his innings when he despatched Magala over mid-wicket.
However, Magala claimed his revenge when he rushed Singh (45, 53b, 4×4, 3×6) with a rising delivery that the opener could only manage to sky to a diving Temba Bavuma at mid-on.
The Dutch innings filtered away from that moment as they lost their remaining eight wickets for 118 runs. Anrich Nortje’s pace was too much to handle for the Dutch with the fiery fast bowler dismissing Wesley Barresi (7) and captain Scott Edwards (5) in quick succession.
Left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi also returned to form after suffering a mauling in the previous series against the West Indies as he bamboozled the Dutch batters. Shamsi claimed 3/25 on a good afternoon out on the East Rand.
Magala, though, was the pick of the bowlers as he returned to claim the only other Dutch batter, Teja Nidamanuru, that offered up any resistance. Nidamanuru played neatly for his 48 (71 balls, 3×4) but could only manage to feather a catch behind to wicketkeeper De Kock. Magala finished with the impressive figures of 3/37 before Jansen closed out the innings.
Netherlands: 189 all out (Teja Nidamanuru 48, Vikramjit Singh 45, Tabraiz Shamsi 3/25, Sisanda Magala 3/37)
South Africa: 190/2 (Temba Bavuma 90*, Aiden Markram 51*, Aryan Dutt 1/30, Fred Klaassen 1/51)
South Africa won by 8 wickets.