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Bavuma brilliance flips Murphy's law around

Bavuma brilliance flips Murphy's law around

Bavuma brilliance flips Murphy's law around

How many people called Murphy live in predominantly Sesotho and Afrikaans-speaking Bloemfontein? How many of them are lawyers? These were questions worth asking on Sunday, when Murphy's law struck South Africa apparently at will during the second men's ODI against England.

Having fielded Harry Brook's bottom edge off Anrich Nortje, Quinton de Kock had to leave the ground after 15 overs to have a thumb x-rayed. In the 41st over, Wayne Parnell put a big toe in the way of Jos Buttler's screaming straight drive and needed treatment on the field to his gingerly unbooted, unsocked foot. Lungi Ngidi hurt a hamstring while bowling his last over, the 49th, and left the field immediately he was done.

Unsurprisingly South Africa took four-and-a-quarter hours to bowl their overs. They will have to hope Jeff Crowe, the referee, decides the delays forced by the injuries and other acceptable stoppages explain away the 45 additional minutes taken to complete England's innings. If Crowe reckons otherwise, the South Africans will lose precious World Cup Super League points and be closer to going to the qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe in June and July.

Bavuma's 102-ball 109 was his first century in 34 international innings across the formats, among them three efforts of 50 or more - one of them 93 - and 11 dismissals for single-figure scores. His performance was more than the sum of those parts. It was a declaration of defiance in the face of often unfair, patently racist criticism, a snook cocked at being ignored by the SA20 franchise owners, a balm for a soul stung by presiding over defeat by the Netherlands in Adelaide in November, and with that elimination from the race for a T20 World Cup semi-final berth.

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