Amla, Peterson in fine form
Amla and Petersen (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - AB de Villiers’ untimely injury hasn’t given the national selectors much to smile about as they put their plans together for the selection of the two limited overs squads to face Australia.
But what would have put a smile back on their collective face at the Wanderers Stadium this week has been the performance of some of their Test squad top order.
On Friday, Alviro Petersen batted on for the Highveld Lions on the second day of the SuperSport Series match against the Dolphins to reach his highest ever first-class score on South African soil of 186 (314 balls, 16 fours and a six) to provide the mainstay of the home side’s total of 359.
Robbie Frylinck continued his good form with the ball for the Dolphins against his old franchise in finishing with 6/52 in almost 27 overs while Imran Tahir backed him up with three wickets of his own.
The Dolphins soon had the runs flowing in their reply and reached 212/2 in 57.1 overs before bad light cut the day’s play short. It leaves them well in the game with a deficit of 147 runs but with eight wickets in hand.
What would again have heartened the selectors was the season debut of Hashim Amla who batted attractively for an unbeaten 77 off only 107 balls with 8 fours and a six.
In the other match at SuperSport Park the Knights’ tail rallied around Ryan McLaren as the Proteas’ all-rounder recorded his third first-class century and went on to finish the innings unbeaten on 133 (210 balls, 19 fours and a six). It was largely through this effort that the Knights reached 400 for a very healthy first innings lead of 173 runs.
This was a remarkable fightback after the first seven wickets had fallen for less than 200 runs. McLaren had willing partners in Johannes van der Wath (89 for the eighth wicket), Malusi Siboto (50 for the ninth) and finally Quinton Friend (67 for the 10th).
The other main contributor was Ryan Bailey (86 off 134 balls with 13 fours) who recorded his 4 000th first-class run in the process.
The Titans only had time to face two balls in their second innings before bad light shortened the day.
What would also have interested the selectors would have been the performance of Loots Bosman, a limited overs squad contender, who made a timely century for KwaZulu-Natal against Western Province at Newlands in the CSA Provincial Challenge three-day competition.