"Arguably one of the finest knocks he has ever played."
South Africa ‘A’ captain Aiden Markram believes Heino Kuhn’s unbeaten double century in SA ‘A’s opening four-day warm-up match against Hampshire, is arguably one of the finest knocks he has ever played.
Kuhn’s first innings’ 200 off 291 balls set the tone as the visitors secured their first win of the tour by an emphatic 251 runs on the final day at the Ageas Bowl. The 33-year-old's heroics came as SA ‘A’ found themselves in trouble on 125-5. But, together with fellow Multiply Titan Heinrich Klaasen (103), the pair shared a stand of 206 before eventually declaring on 370-7.
“We were in trouble and it was tough conditions to bat in,” said Markram. “But Heino demonstrated guts and determination. It was pretty much a 360-degree knock and he showed his mettle.”
With a first innings lead of 185, thanks to a remarkable seven-wicket haul from paceman Dane Paterson, Markram led from the front, scoring an unbeaten 102 at the top of the innings to put the visitors in ascendency before declaring. Defending 370, a five-wicket haul from bizhub Highveld Lions’ Beuran Hendricks ensured the visitors left Southampton victorious.
“The conditions are conducive to swing bowling and the ball nips around. So your first goal is just to survive, to take your time to get settled in and then when the pitch and conditions flatten out, you can excel.”
Markram was named South Africa’s domestic Newcomer of the Year last season, averaging 51.36 in the Sunfoil Series with two centuries, and struck 508 runs in the Momentum One Day Cup, including a domestic record score of 183 against the Lions at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium.
Kuhn averaged 43.91 in the Sunfoil Series this past season and also featured for the Standard Bank Proteas in the KFC T20 International Series against Sri Lanka.
Klaasen was a member of the South African Test squad that toured New Zealand earlier this year and received a hat-trick of awards, including the Player of the Year, at the Multiply Titans’ Player of the Year Awards.
South Africa ‘A’ will get their final preparations in against Sussex, starting on Wednesday, before heading to Canterbury to face England Lions in a solitary ‘A’ Test, which gets underway on 21 June.