South Africa lost their warm-up match against a Cricket Australia XI (CA XI) by 22 runs at the North Sydney Oval on Sunday. Proteas captain, JP Duminy, says his young squad will take valuable lessons from the outing, ahead of the first T20 International against Australia on Wednesday. “I’m obviously disappointed with the loss. There are a few things to work on, but let’s not take it away from them, they played some good shots when they batted. The plans that we had in place were good but sometimes our execution wasn’t on par. I am quite happy with what we dished up for a first time out as a young unit. We have two more training sessions to put it together and hopefully we will be ready come Wednesday,” he said.
CA XI captain, Ashton Turner, top-scored with 73 off 46 balls, to lead his young side to a challenging total on a good batting deck. Cameos from Alex Keath (30 off 22 balls) and Seb Gotch (40 off 25 balls) kept the run rate flowing, with the batsmen capitalizing on the short boundaries and wayward lengths. Kyle Abbott was the most economical of the bowlers, finishing with match figures of 2/22 in four overs.
Abbott’s skill and accuracy in the death overs restricted the home team to 189/5, after they looked set for a total over 200. The other three wickets were shared between Ryan McLaren (1/27), Robin Peterson (1/36) and Kagiso Rabada (1/46). In reply, the Chevrolet Knights’ pair of Reeza Hendricks and Rilee Rossouw started the chase in spectacular style, putting together 41 off 29 balls for the second-wicket, after Quinton De Kock’s early departure.
Rossouw, in particular, struck the ball cleanly to all parts of the ground, and will take confidence from his 29-ball 47 after a tough time with the bat. The Proteas lost wickets at regular intervals during their chase, and struggled to keep up with the climbing run-rate. A late burst of 42 runs off 14 balls from Ryan McLaren (26 off 17 balls) and Wayne Parnell (35 off 12 balls) took the Proteas within reach of the target, before being bowled out for 167.
Imran Tahir was given a rest, as he continues to recover from the shoulder injury he sustained during the series against New Zealand.