South Africa captain Temba Bavuma looked more relieved than triumphant after his record-breaking team had beaten Sri Lanka by 102 runs in their opening ICC Cricket World Cup match in Delhi on Saturday.
Perhaps the fact that his bowlers had been bludgeoned for 326 runs may have had something to do with it.
But on the bright side, Aiden Markram scored the fastest century in World Cup history in 49 balls and his team compiled the biggest total, 428 for five, in the World Cup to date.
Bavuma claimed to be “happy” with the result.
“We wanted to win and did that. As a batter, there’s nothing for me to find fault in. But I did ask for a clinical performance with the ball, and I didn’t get that. Still, some individual performances were good.”
Bavuma added that it was “probably a blessing in disguise that we lost the toss. The ball really came on to the bat better after the powerplay. The point was to adjust to the conditions. We thought it would be a bit more variable and we didn’t adjust early enough. Kesh (Maharaj) took the pace off and was very good. Maybe we need to add spin options, these are the learnings we have to take.”
Markram, named player of the match, was delighted with the result. “I feel fantastic,” he said of his fastest World Cup ton.
“It comes off some days, doesn’t on others. I know what’s expected of me as a batter. We’re marrying being positive with being smart. Great how it has come together in the last 12 months.
“Initially, you want to get a feel for the wicket and find out the options you can take and then back it, regardless of the result, and try things out that may not be in your repertoire. Wicket played well, ball travelled, was an entertaining game. Nice to be on the right side of the result. Really happy with how it went tonight.”
Dasun Shanaka, Sri Lanka’s captain, said he expected a high-scoring game.
“Rassie (van der Dussen), Quinny (De Kock) and Markram got great hundreds but we missed our lengths regularly and general execution wasn’t good. We expected to keep them to 350-370 and we couldn’t manage the extra runs. But I’m happy with the positive intent with the bat while the first 10 overs with the ball was good too. We need to sharpen up for the next game.”
“I think this will give the batting unit a hell of a lot of confidence.” – Sun.