Proteas to be ruthless
Johannesburg – The South African cricket team will have its foot squarely on the accelerator when it meets Zimbabwe in a second one-day warm-up game on Tuesday.
Proteas coach Mickey Arthur promised that the players would be more ruthless than they were in their unconvincing victory by 45 runs in Sunday’s first game against their neighbours.
Although the South African batsmen posted an impressive 295/5, their bowling attack struggled, with Tatenda Taibu (103*) and Stuart Matsikenyeri (86) leading Zimbabwe to a respectable 250/6.
Their record partnership of 188 exploited the Proteas’ poor bowling again in the closing stages of the innings.
“It was disappointing that we could not bowl them out, but at the same time it’s good for preparation that their batsmen put us under pressure,” said Arthur.
The visitors initially struggled on 94/5, but the South African bowlers conceded a massive 146 runs in the last 21 overs.
“We executed all our plans well for 75 overs, but after the rain interruption we were not nearly as ruthless and clinical as we wanted to be,” said Arthur.
Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy, who missed the match because of injuries, will get a chance to play on Tuesday.
“Jacques will only play as batsman and will not bowl. He is carrying an injury and we are also keeping a close watch on JP Duminy,” said Arthur.
There is also still concern about the fitness of pace bowler Wayne Parnell, who has been struggling with a sore ankle for the past week. He is only expected to be able to play in a week’s time again.
Arthur believes the South Africans shook off their worst rust on Sunday, with the first of two Twenty20 games against England taking place on Friday.
England won their first two training games – against the Eagles and Warriors – at a canter.
“They are looking good, but the Warriors’ attack, in particular, was not the best,” said Arthur.
He added that the Proteas did not have any sleepless nights about facing Andrew Strauss and his England team.
“We can’t wait for Friday and we now have a far better grasp of Twenty20 cricket. We’ve got our plans together and a few surprises await England.”
The teams are:
Graeme Smith (capt), Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Alviro Petersen, Albie Morkel, Mark Boucher, Ryan McLaren, Johan Botha, Charl Langeveldt, Dale Steyn.
Prosper Utseya (capt), Mark Vermeulen, Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor, Tatenda Taibu, Elton Chigumbura, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Graeme Cremer, Ray Price, Chris Mpofu.
Starting time: 14:30 on SS 2 on DStv.