Day to remember for Markram
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.”