Proteas beat Sri Lanka XI by 73 runs

2013-07-18 00:00

WHILE it may not have been the sternest of tests, new Protea coach Russell Domingo can feel satisfied with the one-day team’s 73-run win against a Sri Lanka Cricket Board President’s XI in Colombo yesterday.

Batting first after winning the toss, the Proteas amassed 271-6 in their 50 overs, the hosts responding with 198 all out in 44.5 overs.

Playing in a vital warm-up match ahead of the first of five ODI matches, also in Colombo, starting on Saturday (11 am SA time), the Proteas gave JP Duminy the vital number three slot in the batting and spinners Robin Peterson and Aaron Phangiso a run.

If this is the foresight Domingo has on the subcontinent, he could become a “magical” coach. Both decisions proved productive, Duminy looking his old self in carving 92 (7x4, 2x6) from 100 balls and the spinners — along with Duminy — bagging seven wickets between them. This was no mean feat on a pitch that offered little help, despite being slow.

Peterson finished with 3-37 in 7.5 overs, Phangiso 2-39 in nine and Duminy 2-49 in his nine overs. The remaining three scalps were picked up by speedster Chris Morris, 3-27 in eight overs. He looked impressive and could be a vital cog in the Protea engine room for the upcoming matches

From the start, Domingo indicated his view on the match. He wanted to put out his best 11 players instead of giving practise opportunities to others in the squad, showing he has clear intentions of winning the five-match series.

The Protea top order all got starts and enjoyed time at the crease. Duminy was the kingpin, batting until the 47th over, thereby ensuring the Proteas had a recognised batsman at the end of the innings. He shared in stands of 49 for the second wicket with Alviro Petersen (43), 70 for the third with AB de Villiers (40) and 82 for the fourth with Faf du Plessis (40).

Domingo can feel confident ahead of Saturday’s clash and yesterday’s line-up could be used for the opening ODI. Petersen and Hashim Amla opened the innings, the coach going with the two specialist openers in another productive move. An opening partnership of 46 set the tone and the camp can head into Saturday’s encounter with high hopes.

Although it’s early days, it looks as though Domingo has pressed the right buttons and the players have responded. They did everything right in this match — spent time in the middle, made runs and won with purpose. It looked a vastly different bunch of players from the team seen in that painful thumping by England in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy last month.

Scores in brief: SA 271-6 (Duminy 92, Petersen 43, De Villiers 40, Du Plessis 40, Amla 31; Thisara Perera 2-49, Prasad 2-50) SLCBP 198 (Angelo Perera 46, Jehan Mubarak 42; Morris 3-27, Peterson 3-37, Phangiso 2-39, Duminy 2-49).

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