In East London
- Proteas ODI captain Temba Bavuma said a new-found confidence in his batting and thought processes is allowing him to capitalise on a purple patch.
- Bavuma made an excellent 144 in his team's 48-run loss against the West Indies at Buffalo Park on Saturday.
- His fourth ODI ton was also his third international hundred of 2023.
Proteas ODI captain Temba Bavuma said a newfound confidence that's come with the appointment of new coaches and clarity of thought has played a role in his rich vein of form for the national team.
Bavuma, fresh off a career-best 172 in the second Test against the West Indies in Johannesburg last week, drilled a commanding 144 despite his team's 48-run loss against the West Indies in the second ODI at Buffalo Park on Saturday.
Bavuma's fourth ODI ton constituted more than half of SA's 287 in response to the West Indies' 335/8 that relied on Shai Hope's 128 not-out.
MATCH REPORT | Temba Bavuma's stunning century in vain as Proteas lose second ODI to West Indies
Outside of Quinton de Kock's 48, the support from a rather green Proteas batting line-up was fitful.
Bavuma, who has now scored two 100s in his last three ODIs, said he's at a point where he's enjoying his cricket.
"It's hard for me to say, but I think I'm enjoying my cricket at this point in time," Bavuma said. "I think my mind is a lot more clearer in terms of what we're trying to do and how we want to do it.
"I'm feeding off the confidence I'm getting from the players and the new coaches. I'm just enjoying my cricket at the moment."
A hallmark of Bavuma's batting that enthralled the big crowd at the Baysville-based ground was how he interspersed singles with regular boundary-hitting.
READ | Classy Shai Hope ton drives West Indies to tall total in East London
He hit 11 fours and seven sixes, with the bulk of the maximums coming when he had to carry tail as his partners struggled to stay with him.
Bavuma said the momentum from the England series in which he scored a series-clinching 100 in the second ODI in Bloemfontein was something to savour.
"It's always been there. I just think it’s a confidence thing, which is a good thing for any sportsperson," Bavuma said.
"I guess I'm trying to carry on the momentum and the form that I got from the England series and I think I'm hitting the ball quite nicely at the moment.
"I'm managing to find gaps, which is a big thing for me as a stroke player, so I can only hope that things continue in the way that they are right now.
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Bavuma's batting excellence didn't escape his counterpart's attention, with Hope saying Bavuma's dig deserved more than how the result transpired.
"With Temba, an innings like that deserves to end up on the winning side, but we came out on top in the end," Hope said.
"We need to give him credit for how he controlled the innings, and he played the situation very well. He really deserved to win the game with an innings like that.
"However, there can only be one winner."