Cape Town – Dane Paterson, another of the new fast-bowling
faces in the South African national cricket squad, may have to kick his heels again
until agreeably familiar terrain presents itself for him on Wednesday for a
The Cape Cobras seamer, 27, is the only still
internationally untried member of the 13-man Proteas squad contesting the
Twenty20 international series against Sri Lanka.
He and opening batsman Reeza Hendricks were the two
omissions from the XI chosen for the slashed-by-half first of three fixtures at
SuperSport Park on Friday evening, with rain severely delaying the start.
South Africa – pleasingly considering just how new-look and
experimental the team was -- eventually prevailed in the 10-overs-a-side tonk
by 19 runs.
Several home players, both established and rookie, came to
light in the lottery and the Proteas’ brains trust may be reluctant to tinker
at all with the side as the action shifts down the highway to the Wanderers for
Sunday’s possible series-clincher (14:30 start).
Unless there are niggles or other factors in the ranks, it
seems to make fair sense for the hosts to go in unchanged -- in conditions
unlikely to differ too greatly from Centurion -- albeit that the chance of a
full, uninterrupted contest looks rosier from a weather point of view.
That would put on hold, once more, a stab at international
combat for the skiddy Paterson, as well as keep Hendricks still dormant in the
But at least the Proteas already know more about the latter,
given that he is the holder of five T20 caps for the country between November
2014 and January 2015.
He, too, may get a first gallop against the touring ‘Lankans
when the circus shifts to Newlands on Wednesday night, even if home-based
Paterson looks the likelier presence with his knowledge of local, coastal
conditions under lights.
For the moment, however, coach Russell Domingo and company
may well be chuffed enough with both the general batting effort from Friday
(126 for five is a sterling effort, anywhere, in a 10-over “giggle”) and the comfortable
-- in the end – defence of the total in the field.
There was immediate, if understandably pretty short-lived,
momentum from openers Heino Kuhn and Jon-Jon Smuts and the rest of the top five
also got going in sprightly fashion, including David Miller underlining his
increasing maturity and calmness with 40 off only 18 balls.
The booming left-hander didn’t just smack the ball crisply
from his known comfort-zone areas; he was tested in other ways and still ticked
the box for fluency and spectator-scattering devastation.
The South African attack then looked composed for the most
part, and well-balanced as well, with a strikingly satisfying debut for the
20-year-old, strong-boned Titans quickie Lungi Ngidi.
Perhaps there’s a case for saying you shouldn’t get excited
over 12 deliveries.
Then there’s another for saying “why not?”
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