NEWLANDS – From receiving your first national cap to winning your first Test match, that’s what all professional players dream about when starting their international careers.

And that was the case for Western Province players Nandre Burger and David Bedingham. The two debutants put on a leading performances during South Africa’s first Betway Test against India at SuperSport Park in Centurion.

Burger started off with the ball in what would have been a nervous moment for the left arm pacer.

But he got right into his work as he picked up his maiden Test wicket, that of Yashasvi Jaiswal. Once the nerves settled, Burger continued to show his class with pace and accuracy- he picked up two further wickets, that of centurion KL Rahul and Shabman Gill finishing with figures of 3/50 in the first innings.

Come second innings with a Proteas lead of 163, Burger put on a showcase bagging an extra four wickets 4/33 finishing with a match haul of 7/83 to seal an emphatic victory in the first Test.

An unforgettable and impressive start to the left arm pacer’s international career having already made his T20 and ODI debuts – all in the space of 13 days – as well as bagging a lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) deal with Rajasthan Royals this month. Burger will go into the new year with lasting memories of a successful 2023 as an international superstar.

Bedingham, another debutant that in the words of Proteas legend Hashim Amla looked a player that’s already played 100 Tests during his innings of 56. The 29-year-old came to the crease with the total at 113/3 with the home side needing a ship steering partnership.

The right hander then showed some exquisite stroke play of a player you wouldn’t think was playing in his first Test match.

He partnered with stand-in captain Dean Elgar who also called time on his international career at the conclusion of the series. A partnership of 131 to gain control of the innings gave Bedingham the platform to show his metal with an array of classic cover drives and aggressive pick-up pulls.

Bedingham’s former head coach Ashwell Prince on screen looked in awe of the way the right hander was able to play his natural stroke playing game.

The Proteas moves onto the New Years Test with a 1-0 lead in the series starting 3 January 2024 at Newlands Cricket Ground.

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