Shai Hope’s unbeaten 128 saw the West Indies claim a 48-run victory over the Proteas, for whom Temba Bavuma also made a career-best 144, in the second ODI in East London on Saturday night.
Speaking after winning the match, new captain Shai Hope said that the South African captain’s innings was a match-winning knock.
“Temba Bavuma – an innings like that deserves to be a victorious innings but it just so happened that we came out on top at the end. I must give him credit for the way he controlled the innings. He played the situation well and he really deserved to win the game but there can only be one winner,”
Bavuma slammed a career-best 144, exactly a week after his Test best of 172 last and less than two months after he hit a series-winning 109 in South Africa’s World Cup Super League victory over England in Bloemfontein.
He is a player transformed from the one who struggled to score runs during South Africa’s season-opening white-ball tour of India, where he made 11 runs in four innings, and the leader who oversaw their T20I World Cup campaign, which ended in defeat to the Netherlands.
After the match, Bavuma said that he was enjoying cricket and that he was getting proper nutrition from the coaches.
“I’m enjoying my cricket at this point in time. My mind is just a lot clearer as to what we’re trying to do and how we’re trying to do that; feeding off the confidence that I am getting from the players as well as the new coaches.”
Having been West Indies’ leading ODI player for the past few years, Hope has gained a lot of experience with 105 matches. Although he did not open the batting in this match – as he has done since 2019 – he batted, kept wicket and led from the 10th over and described the series as “a tiring game for me”.
He explained how he manages the many roles he has to play in what is a big one-day year for the West Indies.
“I am definitely going to take it on full speed. It’s about giving my all to the team. I am getting support from all ends. I have got support from guys off the field and on the field. I’ve got to keep embracing the responsibility and when the time comes to shine, I’ll do so.”
After losing 16 of the 20 ODIs they played last year, West Indies are certain to miss out on automatic qualification for the 2023 World Cup, and need to start winning. The win for South Africa – their first outing against a different team since beating Bangladesh in Mirpur in 2018 against the Netherlands and Ireland – “means a lot”, as Hope said.
When asked if the Test format is something he would like to get back to, the ODI skipper indicated that he would welcome it if given the opportunity.
“Something that I always preach in the camp: control what you can control. I can’t control what the selectors do, I can’t control things behind the scenes, all I can control is the way I prep, the way I play and the performance I put in on the field.”
“If the chance and the opportunity arises, I will take it with both hands.”