‘Spare’ Proteas paceman to need patience?

2017-01-21 14:42
Dane Paterson (Gallo)

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 maiden cap.

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 series.

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?”

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    proteas  |  dane paterson  |  cape town  |  cricket

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