South Africa’s win over Australia on Tuesday came as a major relief after a run of successive defeats threatened their confidence before next month’s World Cup, said man of the match Aiden Markram.
South Africa beat Australia by 111 runs at the JB Marks Oval to win their first game in the five-match One Day International series, after losing the opening two as well as all three matches of the Twenty20 series against Australia that preceded it.
Markram hit 102 not out and admitted afterwards that it had come at an important time for a team in need of a boost.
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“I think there is a lot of relief involved. We pride ourselves on being a really competitive cricketing nation and when you don’t play up to those standards, it affects the human as well as the cricketer,” he told a press conference.
“So when you get a good result, it means a lot to us. And it’s nice to know that we’ve got the character to turn it around in a must-win game tonight. There are a lot of positives that we can take forward and a bit of relief as well.”
It was Markram’s second century in a format where he has yet to prove himself.
“Ultimately you’re walking out to bat every time, you’re seeing how you can add value to the team. And some days it might be a quick-fire innings for a change of momentum and some days, it might be in a situation with a bit more gravity.”
South Africa were a lot better on Tuesday than in Bloemfontein where Australia won the first two ODIs.
“It was a tricky sort of wicket. We almost never really quite felt in, but managed to play better cricket in all facets. But we still have much to improve on, to get closer towards the standards that we set for ourselves. Fortunately a nice turn around for us.”
The next meeting between South Africa and the Australians is in Pretoria on Friday with the last game of the series in Johannesburg on Sunday.