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Proteas all-rounder Anneke Bosch says they are learning harsh but valuable lessons in Test cricket after a chastening second day of their one-off match against England at the County Ground in Taunton on Tuesday.
SA were bowled out for 284 on Monday with Marizanne Kapp scoring 150, but centuries from Nat Sciver and Alice Davidson-Richards saw England reach stumps on day two on 328/6, a 44-run lead.
Sciver (119) arrived at the crease with England on 86/3 and withstood pressure from the SA bowlers, including Bosch’s 3/59, to set up a stunning partnership of 207 runs with Davidson-Richards (107).
On a day when Proteas bowlers toiled, Bosch was the pick with three wickets. The other contributors were Nonkululeko Mlaba and Tumi Sekhukhune with one each.
After a largely unsuccessful day two, Bosch said it was tough bowling for longer periods but SA are enjoying the experience of playing Test cricket.
“The last wicket at the end of the day helped us a bit because everyone was on a high after that,” she said.
“I think it could have been worse if we came off without a wicket in the closing stages and having not broken that partnership. I am proud of the team for starting the way we did by getting a couple of quick wickets, but unfortunately we let it go towards the end.
“The partnership between Nat and Alice really made it very difficult for us, but there will be a new batter on the crease on Wednesday and it won’t be the same.”
Bosch said Test cricket is challenging but they are learning.
“It is tough. We are not used to that [bowling for longer periods]. I used to bowl five or six overs a day, which was fine, but today I bowled 15. I could feel it towards the end.
“But everyone is well prepared, as much as they could be for it. From what I can see we need to work and learn a couple of things but we did enjoy it a lot.
“[SA captain] Suné Luus told the team to stay patient and stick to your line and lengths, and the same with batting where you also have to stay patient in this format.”
Bosch said playing a Test match was emotional for SA.
“It has been a great experience and I was really excited for the match to start. When we were batting and on the field, I remember telling someone it felt unreal and it’s like you're in a movie.
“It’s really cool and it is such a nice experience and I am really thankful to be part of it and experience a Test match. It’s tough but we are enjoying the challenge.”
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.