Day to re­mem­ber for Markram

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART HESS

BLOEM­FONTEIN: This time there was no painful mix up in the mid­dle. Ai­den Markram had no need to charge down the wicket at­tempt­ing a risky sin­gle, nor did Dean El­gar later as Markram reached his land­mark.

This time, they smashed bound­aries. El­gar hit­ting three in five balls to move from 89 to 101, Markram hit­ting back-to-back fours to go from 93 to his maiden Test cen­tury.

The younger of the pair said later that what hap­pened in Potchef­strooom last week when he was run out for 97 try­ing to take a quick sin­gle to get El­gar to a hun­dred never even came up as the pair ap­proached their re­spec­tive cen­turies on Fri­day. By­gones be­ing by­gones and all of that.

Markram was fo­cused though on get­ting through the 90s as quickly as pos­si­ble, although in a sign of his ma­tu­rity he knocked out a maiden against Mah­madul­lah be­fore the af­ter­noon drinks break when he was on 93.

The cen­tury came im­me­di­ately af­ter that brief in­ter­val, he drove hard with an open face against Rubel Hos­sain to go to 97 and pulled the next ball to back­ward square leg to reg­is­ter what he and South African cricket will hope and be­lieve is the first of many hun­dreds at this level.

“I’m ex­tremely happy to have got there, es­pe­cially af­ter last week,” Markram said. “It’s a day that will stick with me for the rest of my life.”

Markram and El­gar’s part­ner­ship at the top of the or­der was one of the main themes on an­other dom­i­neer­ing day for the South Africans. The other was Mush­fiqur Rahim’s de­ci­sion to bowl af­ter win­ning the toss.

Markram chose to be diplo­matic about Mush­fiqur’s de­ci­sion. “Last week (in Potchefstroom the de­ci­sion to bowl) was more sur­pris­ing. This week there was al­ways go­ing to be some­thing in it in the morn­ing,” said Markram. “I wasn’t too sur­prised this morn­ing, I can get the un­der­stand­ing be­hind their de­ci­sion. It’s for­eign (con­di­tions) to them, a bit of trial and er­ror I sup­pose.”

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