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Thanks, PE, for an amazing experience

Good to have a couple of days off after another convincing test win over New Zealand. It’s meant that I have a few days at home in Pretoria, which is great, as it’s not something I get to do very often. After that, I’ll be hooking up with my Proteas one-day international teammates for the Momentum Cup series against the Black Caps.

You may wonder what I get up to when I do get the chance to go home, between touring. Well, it’s mostly admin and getting those things done that you can’t get done on tour. But also, it’s spending time with family and friends, and seeing my dogs, Giorgio and Bella. I’ve got two little sausage dogs and they sleep on the bed with me, so I miss them a lot when I’m not home for a while. It’s also nice to be able to spend some time with Imari, my fiancé, although she may have to fight Bella for some attention!

On the field, it was obviously fantastic to get my second test hundred and prove that the one in Australia wasn’t a once-off. It was also great to get it in South Africa, in my first test series on home soil. There are very few things better than getting a test hundred, and it was really special getting this one. More importantly, I am starting to feel like an established player now, which is great for the confidence.

It was a very satisfying hundred, because there were periods at Axxess St George’s when it wasn’t that easy to bat. Certainly, on the first day, the ball was swinging around quite a bit and it was quite windy. The wicket was also quite slow towards the end of the day, so scoring wasn’t easy. The new ball arriving did make things easier, but then the second morning was tricky, once again. So, all in all, it was incredibly satisfying to get a hundred in those conditions. Going to a hundred with a six is not something I’ve done very often, and it just happened that way. I had been waiting to get down the wicket to Jeetan Patel, and after going to lunch on 99, I got my opportunity soon after the break, with the field up.

There was obviously a bit of talk about an incident that took place early in my innings, when it appeared that I had nicked the ball behind and didn’t walk. The ball brushed my glove going down the leg-side and I wasn’t given out, and the New Zealanders didn’t refer it. It wasn’t an obvious one and I was fortunate not to be given out. My philosophy is that sometimes those decisions go for you and other times they don’t, and I’ve also had my share of bad decisions. So, I think they all even themselves out.

Playing at Axxess St George’s is something quite different. It’s usually windy and you can’t always be heard, when you’re trying to support the bowler. But then the band comes in and lifts everyone, so it’s pretty unique. It’s an amazing experience and they really do give you that extra bit of energy, when you’re in the field. They produce a great atmosphere, and when the band gets going, it’s definitely one of the best places in the country to play.

Off the field, during the test match, there wasn’t much we got up to, besides a few dinners. I spent a long time batting and fielding, so most of the time I was looking for an early night and some good sleep. So, it was pretty quiet during the test match.

Now I’m looking forward to the Momentum Cup one-day series. We’ve got a couple of new faces in the squad and it’s going to be interesting to see what combinations the selectors go for. I’m looking forward to hopefully continuing my good form with the bat and contributing to some victories.

Until next week.

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