Markram star in the mak­ing


The Citizen (KZN) - - SPORT -

Aiden Markram “would do him­self jus­tice” if he is cho­sen for South Africa to­day, ac­cord­ing to Ti­tans coach Mark Boucher, after the open­ing bats­man pro­duced a mag­nif­i­cent match­win­ning cen­tury in the Mo­men­tum One-Day Cup fi­nal against the War­riors at the week­end.

Markram smashed a classy 161 off just 123 balls as he and open­ing part­ner Henry Davids, the tour­na­ment’s lead­ing run-scorer, both scored cen­turies to lead the Ti­tans to 425/5, the high­est to­tal ever in the com­pe­ti­tion.

It was the 22-year-old Markram’s sec­ond cen­tury of the cam­paign, after his record-break­ing 183 against the Lions at the Wan­der­ers a fort­night ago, to go with two Sun­foil Se­ries hun­dreds, and Boucher, a leg­end of in­ter­na­tional cricket with 147 Test and 295 ODI caps, knows what it takes to pros­per at the high­est level.

“Aiden would cer­tainly do him­self jus­tice if he went up right now and he will only get bet­ter in that en­vi­ron­ment, play­ing along­side peo­ple like Faf, AB and Hashim. Is there a spot in the start­ing XI for him right now? I don’t know, but I would en­cour­age the Proteas to have a proper look at him in the squad,” Boucher said after the Ti­tans’ 236-run vic­tory.

“He’s easy on the eye and he gives you bowl­ing op­tions. Role-def­i­ni­tion is very im­por­tant in cricket and we de­cided that he must bat through and he was able to give Henry the strike and just let him go.

“But Aiden is cer­tainly not one-di­men­sional, he can also fin­ish the game, he does not get stuck. He’s got the game to score runs up front, in the mid­dle overs and to fin­ish the in­nings. There are so many di­men­sions to his bat­ting, he’s cer­tainly a star of the fu­ture,” Boucher added.

Davids, 37, pro­duced a sparkling 114 off 98 balls, tak­ing his tour­na­ment tally to 673 runs in just eight in­nings, a Ti­tans record and the fifth-high­est tally ever, al­though those ahead of him all played be­tween 11 and 14 in­nings.

It’s lit­tle won­der then that his team-mates have be­gun to call the bats­man Boucher said re­minded him of Her­schelle Gibbs, “red wine”, such has been the qual­ity of cricket Davids is pro­duc­ing in his se­nior years.

“I’ve heard the ‘red wine’ name a few times, but I’ve started to know my game, I give my­self more overs to get in now. I used to play big shots early on, but now I get the feel of the pitch first.

“It’s been an awe­some sea­son, in the past I would score flashy 60s or a quick 30 and then get out, but this year I’ve only made a cou­ple of 30s, I’ve been con­vert­ing, so that’s very pleas­ing,” said Davids, who fin­ished the Mo­men­tum One­Day Cup with three hun­dreds and three half-cen­turies.

Picture: Gallo Images

PICTURE FOR POS­TER­ITY. Ti­tans’ Chris Mor­ris Farhaan Be­har­dien and Heino Kuhn take a selfie with the One­Day Cup tro­phy after crush­ing the War­riors at Cen­tu­rion on Fri­day night.

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