Top-order slumps for Proteas

2008-08-17 00:00

The Proteas slipped to a disapointing six-wicket weekend defeat at the Derby county ground with more than eight overs to spare against the England Lions in their second warm-up match for the ODI series starting next week.

Admittedly, Graeme Smith’s side had the worst of the batting conditions after losing the toss, but they still looked on target for a decent total after Smith and Herschelle Gibbs put on 67 runs for the first wicket in 16 overs.

But they twice lost two wickets in quick succession as Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy all failed.

Mark Boucher and Vernon Philander did a fine job in consolidating the innings with an unbroken partnership of 92 for the fifth wicket. Boucher finished unbeaten on 63 off 67 balls with five fours and two sixes.

Nevertheless their total of 209 looked a good 30 or 40 runs short of where they needed to be.

This became evident as Matt Prior and Owais Shah, two members of the England squad to face the Proteas this week, gave the innings momentum, and then the job was rounded off by Eoin Morgan and Samit Patel.

The Proteas went to Newcastle yesterday to prepare for Wednesday’s one-off T20 international at Chester-le-Street. — News24.

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