Bavuma first black South African to make Test 100
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP):
Temba Bavuma became the first black South African to make a Test century in helping his team defiantly declare at 627-7 in reply to England's 629-6 declared in the second Test yesterday.
Captain Hashim Amla made 201 and Bavuma reached 102 not out to effectively wipe out England's advantage and probably save a draw with one day to play on a serene pitch, where runs have flowed and bowlers have struggled.
Bavuma, raised in a poor township in Cape Town, gave South Africa a feel-good moment after the pressure they have been under early in this series and in this game.
"When I made my debut for South Africa, I came to be a bit more aware and realise the significance behind it more," said Bavuma, the first black specialist batsman to play for the Proteas. "It's always been an inspiration for other kids, black African kids, to aspire to."
England were 16-0 in their second innings to lead by 18 after batting out the last six overs of the day.
England were left ruing a bunch of missed catches, giving let-offs to Amla, Bavuma, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and Chris Morris, who all made half-centuries in the South African fightback.
The dream batting strip helped South Africa as much as it helped England in their first innings, when Ben Stokes struck a stunning 258 from 198 balls.
It was so good that tailender Morris hit boundaries with reverse sweeps off England spinner Moeen Ali and was the fifth South African to go past 50 with his 69.
The only glimpse of hope for England came in the afternoon, when Amla's dismissal sparked three quick wickets in four overs from Stuart Broad and James Anderson and a brief opportunity to push for victory. England had waited 70 overs for any kind of breakthrough.
Broad began by bowling Amla for 201 and had Quinton de Kock caught for just five. Between those strikes, Anderson forced out Faf du Plessis to a catch in the slips for 86.
The three rapid strikes threatened to derail South Africa's fightback and leave them still some way behind. But Bavuma and tailender Chris Morris responded with a century stand, the third of the South African innings.
Bavuma sent a thick edge down to third man for four for his century and celebrated by removing his helmet and waving his bat excitedly at the crowd in the city where he was born. Bavuma's family watched from the stands, including his father, who used to be a journalist.
"He was here today. He's quite happy. I'll see him later tonight. He'll probably have a few questions as well," Bavuma said.