Proteas batsman Aiden Markram
Asif HASSAN / AFP
- Proteas opener Aiden Markram says the side is hurting following Monday’s loss to Pakistan.
- Markram scored a superb century as the South Africans fell 95 runs short in their chase.
- It was Markram’s fifth century in Test cricket.
Aiden Markram completed one of his finest innings in Proteas colours in Rawalpindi on Monday, but his 108 was not enough to prevent Pakistan from marching to a 95-run win in the second Test.
The hosts claimed a 2-0 series win over the South Africans in the process.
Set a massive 370 for victory, drawing the series was always going to be a monumental task for the Proteas.
Thanks largely to Markram, though, the Proteas had reached 241/3 on day five and at that point looked poised to pull off a stunning win.
Markram’s dismissal, however, sparked the collapse and the South Africans would lose their last seven wickets for just 33 runs.
“The mood is pretty down at the moment. It’s never nice losing matches and Test series … it does leave a bitter taste,” Markram told media after the match.
“It’s a time where we are blooding new players and we have had a few big players leave us in recent years with big roles to fill. That’s where we are as a team.
“We’ll take a bit of time to reflect and improve and hopefully when it matters, we can deliver.
“It was a big target that we were chasing, but the message was pretty much to break it down into smaller targets along the way.
“We always knew the closer we get to tea time and then post-tea, we would certainly stand a good chance if we were still batting so that was the message.”
Markram added that the disappointment of losing the Test and the series far outweighed the satisfaction of a fifth Test century.
“As sportsmen, we are competitive people so to lose a game and the series is something that eats at you more than one or two personal performances that might have gone alright,” he said.
“It’s a lot more hurt than satisfaction from my side.
“It felt like there were stages throughout the series and throughout the game where, just when we started to make some good progress and get ahead, we’d give it away.
“That’s where the hurt comes from, but it’s time for us to take lessons and to learn and not make the same mistakes going forward.”
The Proteas Test side will now return home while a three-match T20 series against Pakistan, with a fresh squad of players, gets underway at Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday.