How Van der Dussen, Bavuma gelled in match-winning partnership: 'We complement each other'

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Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma (Gallo)
Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma (Gallo)
  • Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen delivered a match-winning partnership for the Proteas against India on Wednesday. 
  • Their 204 is the 16th-highest partnership in the history of Proteas ODI cricket. 
  • The pair have spent the bulk of their careers together playing at the Lions.

When Rassie van der Dussen joined Temba Bavuma at the crease during the first ODI against India in Paarl on Wednesday, the Proteas were 68/3 after 17.4 overs, having stuttered along until then.

What followed was an epic 204-run stand for the fourth-wicket that came off just 184 balls and launched the hosts to a total of 296/4 that would prove 31 runs too many for their visitors.

It is the 16th-highest partnership in the history of Proteas ODI cricket and the third-highest for the fourth-wicket, but more importantly, it continued a resurgence following a stunning 2-1 Test series win against the Indians that was clinched last week.

Van der Dussen was the star, finishing 129* (98) to claim the man-of-the-match award, but Bavuma's 110 (143) was equally important in the context of the match.

Bavuma is 31 and Van der Dussen 32, and the pair have played the bulk of their domestic careers alongside each other at the Lions.

Speaking after South Africa's win on Wednesday, Van der Dussen opened up on how that history had helped the two players on the day.

"I've played with Temba for quite long in my career, and him and I have sort of grown to know each other's gameplans and mannerisms and strengths and weaknesses," said Van der Dussen.

"There are certain things I know Temba does when he's playing well, and he knows those things about me when I'm playing well, so it's a matter of reminding ourselves on that.

"It was very hot out there today, and when he got to about 70 or 80, he started to feel the heat a bit, and he constantly asked me to remind him to keep the intensity up and stay in his gameplans and stay disciplined.

"We've played together for a long time and I always enjoy batting with him.

"His running between the wickets, especially, is something I feed off, and I think we complement each other quite well."

On his own performance, Van der Dussen said he had gone in with the intention of not letting the Indian bowlers settle.

"I went to a few of my sweeps, and luckily a few of them came out, and I got off to a bit of a flyer," said Van der Dussen.

"From there, it was just about staying in that plan and trying to put the bowlers under pressure.

"I was just very happy to contribute with a knock like that."

South Africa now lead the three-match series 1-0 with the second ODI taking place in Paarl on Friday.

Play will start at 10:30.

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