POTCHEFSTROOM, South Africa (Reuters) - South Africa debutant Aiden Markram looked on the bright side after a heart-breaking run out denied him a century on debut on the opening day of the first test against Bangladesh on Thursday.
“I’m more than happy to take it,” he said at stumps of his innings of 97, with South Africa on 298 for one at Senwes Park.
“Had you asked me if I would take 97 last night I would have taken it with open arms, I’m more than happy with the 97.”
The 22-year-old Markram appeared to be heading for a dream start to his test career before he was caught out of his crease, backing up too quickly as he attempted to help opening partner Dean Elgar to reach a century.
Elgar was on 99 and looking for a quick single to get to three figures but, after a moment’s hesitation, he decided against a run, leaving Markram halfway up the crease and scrambling unsuccessfully to get back to safety.
The pair put on a 196-run opening partnership as they took advantage of a batsman-friendly track.
“I’ve never really looked at the game from a selfish perspective,” Markram told reporters.
“I think I wanted it so badly for him (Elgar) that I got caught in no-man’s land. It’s part of the game, you have to take it on the chin and move on. He was extremely upset. Dean and I have come a long way, we’ve developed a good friendship as well.
“It was tough for him, a bitter pill to swallow. I told him at tea that he needs to kick on for the team’s sake. That is all that matters. He has put himself in a great position to do so.”
On Friday Elgar will resume on the second day at 128 not out, along with Hashim Amla who has 68.
“You have to take your hat off to the innings that Dean played. I’m incredibly happy for him for scoring another hundred,” Markram added.
“Knowing the kind of person he is, he really would like to kick on tomorrow. He has a very hard personality, he is a proper fighter as we have all seen.”
Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ken Ferris