SA A stumble against Aussies
Roelof van der Merwe (File)
Cape Town - South Africa A lost their opening match of the Coca-Cola Triangular "A" Series by 60-runs against Australia A at the Harare Sports Club on Thursday. Australia now top the group with two consecutive wins, with South Africa and Zimbabwe with one loss each.
South Africa were bowled out for 154 in reply to Australia's 214 for 9 in 50 overs. The loss of regular wickets hampered South Africa's chase of the modest total with a gritty 48-run 10th wicket partnership between top-scorer Rory Kleinveldt (39) and Ethy Mbhalati (20) the only show for a star-studded batting line-up.
Roelof van der Merwe entered the crease at number three in his usual aggressive style, and fell for a fiery 20 off 11 balls. John Hasting was the best of the Australian bowlers, picking up 4/28 in 9 overs.
Earlier, South Africa's bowlers toiled hard to restrict Australia to a challenging but gettable total.
Van der Merwe (0/27) and Kleinveldt (2/32) kept the opposition's run-rate steady, after a whirlwind start from openers Aaron Finch (59) and David Warner (27).
Vernon Philander (2/47), Craig Alexander (2/42) and Justin Ontong (1/4) were the other wicket-takers for South Africa.
Both teams sported a line-up of International stars, and this will keep the tournament interesting towards the business end.
South Africa play their next match against Zimbabwe on Saturday 2 June.