Ricochet News

Proteas made to work hard in two English County warm-up encounters over the weekend

By Marc Jacobson - May 22, 2017
Proteas made to work hard in two English County warm-up encounters over the weekend

The Proteas’ XI played two warm-up one-day matches against English Counties, Sussex and Northamptonshire over the weekend respectively, ahead of their three-match ODI Series against England beginning on the 24th of May.

In both encounters, the South Africans took to the crease first, which deems well for their warm-up prospects, seeing as though their batters get given enough space to pace themselves, while the bowlers be put to the test in defending totals.

On Friday, the South Africans warmed up against Sussex in a 32-over induced match at Hove, with Wayne Parnell and Quinton de Kock opening the batting. The pair set-up a stern 121-run opening partnership, before Parnell was picked off for an LBW for 61 by former Cape Cobras’ pacer, Stiaan van Zyl.

After passing the 100-run milestone, de Kock retired out after smashing seven sixes and five fours to score 104 until 24th over, which by then JP Duminy took over the reins to score a styling 68, before being caught in the 31st over. Four balls later, David Miller was caught by van Zyl for a handful 25 runs.

South Africa projected a solidified 289/4, technically for three if de Kock held onto his wicket, on a seemingly fast wicket. Sussex then started their innings in gloom when they lost both openers in the first over alone.

Four overs later, they were then dismissed of van Zyl, which by that time they were on 30/3. Sussex then started gaining some ascendency when Harry Finch and Philip Salt combined for a 57-run partnership until the 12th over, when Salt was taken out for 37 from Morne Morkel’s nick-behind to de Kock’s gloves.

Coming in at six, Delray Rawlins then maintained their side’s continuity when he scored a decent 41 before being run-out in the 21st over.

In more dispersal of the Sussex’s scorers, tail-ender, Ajmal Shahzad scored an unbeaten 34 in the middle, while Finch was eventually taken out for 62 in the 26th over.

The home side were only able to conjure up 223/9 in their allotted 32, with South Africa cruising to a 66-run victory. With the ball, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj and Andile Phehlukwayo each took two wickets apiece.

The South Africans were then made to sweat against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road in Northampton on Sunday, which was subjected to the full 50 allotted overs, and ironically enough, the visitors scored a lower total in their 50 than the reduced-32 against Sussex.

The Northants already made a statement in the second over when de Kock was taken out for a seven-ball duck for an LBW inswing by Richard Gleeson.

Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis then set the pace for South Africa’s going, when they laid the partnership of the day of a combined 93 runs, as a good foundation. It was in the 20th over when that ice broke, as du Plessis was caught for 50.

Just over three overs later, Amla was then picked up by long-on for 59, when the rare aggressor within him aimed to haul the ball from down the pitch.

Mid-way through the innings, Miller then produced a stellar strike-rate, partnered with Farhaan Behardien, to score a combined 74, before Behardien was pinned for LBW for 33 with 14 overs remaining.

Miller was then bowled three overs later for a decent 51, as the Proteas stood on 206/5. Failing to pick up their intensity, South Africa then lost two wickets in the space of five balls in the 44th over.

It was Chris Morris and Duminy, who relegated himself to bat number nine, who collected some much-needed spoils in the last six overs – collecting 54 unbeaten runs in the final overs.

Morris (26 not out) and Duminy (29 not out) guided the South Africans to their below-par 275/7.

Northampton lost their first wicket in the first over, but thereafter looked on the right path in their chase, when Max Holden and Chesney Hughes combined well for a threatening 92-run second-wicket partnership until the 17th over, when Hughes was bowled by Duminy in the 16th over.

Holden was then bowled by Imran Tahir for 55 just seven balls later.

Stretching their scoring down the order, number six, Steven Crook, was accompanied well in the middle-order to score his eight-4s 42 until the 33rd over when he was picked off in the field, as the side needed 90 in a wholesome 17.3 overs for victory.

Tail-ender, Tom Sole, then batted well to accentuate the Northants’ run-chase in the final stages, but was to the team’s demise, dismissed for an abrupt three-4s and three-6s score of 54 in the 48th over, when Northampton were bowled all out for 262 – losing by just 13 runs.

Morris took 3/36 bowling figures for South Africa and was also the second most economical (4.50) behind Morkel’s 3.91 economy-rate.

The Proteas will play their first ODI against England at Headingly in Leeds on Wednesday.  

Image: Stiaan van Zyl celebrating his wicket of Wayne Parnell for Sussex, while Quinton de Kock overlooks.