Cape Town - Poor execution with the ball was the Oxigen Proteas’ let-down in their eight-wicket loss to a BCCI Board President’s XI in a warm-up T20 match in Delhi on Monday according to the Cricket South Africa website.
India A’s openers, Manan Vohra (56 off 42 balls) and Mayank Agarwal (87 off 49 balls), put together a 100-run opening partnership to steer their team to the winning total of 190 with two balls to spare.
“I think we would have loved the result to go our way but I was quite pleased with our first outing in India,” JP Duminy said after the match. “Scoring 190, that was a good start with the bat for us, but yes we could have executed a little bit better with the ball but I don’t think it is something that we need to worry too much about. The guys know where they went wrong during the match but there is still another three days to go before Friday so it’s important for us to make sure that we put in some good work leading into that first game, that first game is the most important thing for us.”
A big positive in the match was the valuable middle time for the batsmen, with AB de Villiers (37 off 27 balls), Faf du Plessis (42 off 27 balls) and Duminy (68 not out off 32 balls) making impressive contributions. Du Plessis and Duminy hardly put a foot wrong in their comebacks after missing the series against New Zealand last month.
“I haven’t played for a while so it was key for me to spend some time out in the middle,” he said. “ It’s only a warm-up game, yes I enjoyed it, but we have got to make sure that we put in the big performances on the big stage which is Friday.”
The all-rounder says the young attack will learn a lot from the warm-up match, particularly under the difficult batting-friendly conditions and heat. Marchant de Lange was the standout performer in his three-over spell, running in with good pace and delivering accurate placement in the death overs.
“I have no doubt that they have what it takes to win the series as a bowling department,” he said of the attack. “Today is a nice opportunity for us to assess what is going to work and what is not going to work for us in these conditions. Marchant and Kyle Abbott would have played in these conditions during the IPL, while Kagiso (Rabada) may be new to these conditions so it’s important for him to understand what works and what doesn’t, to assess early on especially against a formidable line-up in the Indian team.”
The Proteas travel to Dharamshala on Wednesday and will have one final training session at the picturesque HPCA stadium before the first T20I on Friday evening.