Faf, Temba pile on runs, but Bavuma bizarrely walks on 71

Temba Bavuma is congratulated by Faf du Plessis after reaching his 50 during day three of the first Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka at SuperSport Park on December 28 2020 in Pretoria.
Temba Bavuma is congratulated by Faf du Plessis after reaching his 50 during day three of the first Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka at SuperSport Park on December 28 2020 in Pretoria.
Image: Gordon Arons/Gallo Images

Former captain Faf du Plessis scored his 10th Test century and Temba Bavuma was ‘dismissed’ in bizarre circumstances during an action-packed period before lunch on day three of the Boxing Day Test at SuperSport Park.

The Proteas went to lunch in firm control on 435/5 and with a significant lead of 39 and Du Plessis (112) will continue batting after lunch with Wiaan Mulder (18) where they will be looking to continue frustrating the Sri Lankan bowlers.

Du Plessis, who in the process of his century became the ninth South African to reach the milestone of 4,000 Test runs, ended a spell where he went through 19 innings without scoring a hundred.

On what turned out to be a beneficial period for South Africa, Du Plessis was part of a useful partnership of 179 off 262 with Bavuma, which went a long way in helping South Africa establish a first innings lead.

Their partnership was broken in bizarre circumstances when Bavuma walked off the pitch even though ultra edge clearly showed that his bat did not connect with the ball on its way to Noroshan Dickwella behind the stumps.

Bavuma’s wicket could have been saved if he did not walk or reviewed the caught behind decision as replays showed without doubt that he did not hit the ball on its way to Dickewella.

Before that bizarre moment, Bavuma looked solid at the crease and there was genuine hope that he may have gone all the way to registering his second century as he was on 71 off 125 balls.

Interestingly enough, Du Plessis's and Bavuma's last century and 50 respectively came in the same match when South Africa took on Pakistan in January 2019.

On a positive note, Bavuma finally managed his first half-century after 14 innings but the long overdue second century remains elusive and he will be gutted with the manner in which he was dismissed in this match.

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