Cape Town - Captain Stephen Cook was predictably disappointed after
South Africa A suffered a heavy 197-run defeat to Australia A in the first of
two four-day matches in Brisbane on Tuesday.
The tourists played second fiddle to the hosts for most of
the game after two average batting displays that saw them concede a 112-run
first innings deficit. Batting first after winning the toss, Australia mustered
396, to which the South Africans, whose starting XI boasted seven players with
Test experience, replied with 284.
The home side then made 248/7 declared second time around to
set a victory target of 361 on the final day. Cook’s men succumbed for just 163
in 49.4 overs as the hosts sealed a comfortable win.
“It’s not the result we wanted, I think were outplayed in all
three facets by the Aussies in this game,” the skipper said. “Obviously there
were some individual performances, but certainly not the collective.
“We played well in patches, but not for long enough to exert
With the bat, Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Vilas and Dean Elgar
all got first-innings half centuries, while Andile Phehlukwayo provided a rare
second innings positive with his 55. Duanne Olivier was the top wicket-taker
with five wickets with the ball.
“I think the discipline we showed with the ball, the Aussies
were far better with their discipline and they hit the right areas,” Cook
explained. “We bowled far too many cut balls on the first day and we gave them
300 runs, which was way too many for the conditions. You’re always behind the
eight ball and always under pressure when that happens.
“It was a lot easier for them to bat yesterday (day 3) with
100-odd run lead. That put us under pressure today (day four) and then the way
they bowled with the new ball.”
The match was also South Africa’s first experience with the
pink ball and they need to acclimatise to it even quicker considering that they
will play in their first-ever Day/Night Test during the Standard Bank Proteas’
tour to Australia in November. The third match of the three-game schedule is to
be played under lights in Adelaide.
“It was completely different (playing with the pink ball),”
Cook added. “I mean we literally had two days of preparation. We’d never played
with one before and it swings a bit up front, which we saw, and it goes a
little bit softer. It was good from an experience point of view, in terms of
working out how best to go about it, so next time we are faced with this
challenge, we can hopefully adapt a little bit quicker.”