Temba Bavuma demonstrated that his batting skills are by no means restricted to the long format when he blasted Gauteng to a four-wicket victory over Kenya in their Africa T20 Cup Pool D match at the Mangaung Oval on Saturday. Unfortunately his unbeaten innings of 64 (39 balls, three fours and three sixes) was not enough to keep Gauteng alive in their bid to win the pool as they could not secure the all-important bonus point but it was nevertheless a personal statement of intent from the Proteas Test batsman. Free State are now guaranteed first place in Pool B as their tally of 10 points is now beyond the reach of both SWD and Gauteng who both have four points with one round to be played while Kenya have yet to get off the mark with two defeats.
Bavuma says: ‘We didn’t achieve the team objective of winning with a bonus point, but it was important to get back on the winning trail. We must now beat Free State in our final match tomorrow so that we at least can go home with two wins out of three.’ The target of winning the game in 16 overs was always going to be a difficult one after Kenya posted their highest total of the tournament of 154/5. This was largely due to the opening partnership of 81 in 11 overs between Dhiren Gondaria (47 off 33 balls, three fours and 3 sixes) and Irfan Karim (57 not out, 53 balls, five fours).