SA A, Aussies share spoils

2013-07-27 19:41
Justin Ontong (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - The first unofficial four-day Test match between South Africa A and their counterparts from Australia ended in a draw after the visitors posted 254/6 on the final day on Saturday.

Although the wicket remained flat, giving the batting side the upper hand, the South African bowlers showed more discipline and were rewarded with more wickets than they saw in the first innings.

The hosts declared overnight on 614/7 with a lead of 140 runs after a powerful batting performance by Dean Elgar (268) and Thami Tsolekile (159). In reply, it was the Australian captain, Aaron Finch who had the best day with the bat, top scoring with 88 from 133 balls. Shaun Marsh once again failed to make a significant contribution, scoring just six more runs than he did in the first innings before he was dismissed by Simon Harmer for 11.

Alex Doolan (38) shared a 105-run partnership with his skipper that was brought to a halt when he was trapped lbw by Kyle Abbott after lunch.

Finch followed five overs later, caught brilliantly by Justin Ontong at short leg off Harmer. David Warner could not replicate his first innings magic and was removed for 33 off a good delivery from Beuran Hendricks, while Moises Henriques and Glenn Maxwell added 18 and 17 respectively before their dismissals by Marchant de Lange.

Nathan Coulter-Nile and Tim Paine were 19 and 13 not out respectively when the umpires decided to call it a day.

Ontong was satisfied captain on Saturday. “We had a much better performance, the bowlers learned a lot from the first innings and from the way the opposition bowled in their first innings,” he said.

“We executed out game plans correctly and did what we set out to do. The bowlers were tighter and bowled more disciplined lines resulting in more wickets than we took in the first innings.”

The teams travel to Rustenburg where the second Test commences on Wednesday. Neither team has any experience of playing at the Olympia Park Stadium but Ontong believes his side will be ready to take the visitors on come match day.

“We have a lot of positives to take into the next match,” he continued. “We will assess the conditions as soon as we get there and will plot our game plans from there, I believe that if we stick to the basics and play our natural game, we will come out on top,” he concluded.

Read more on:    justin ontong  |  cricket

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