Proteas make good use of warm-up opportunity

Aaron Phangiso (Gallo Images)
Aaron Phangiso (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Proteas wrapped up their ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match preparation with an eight-wicket win against a combined Mumbai Cricket Association XI at the Brabourne Stadium on Tuesday.

The Proteas reached the target of 189 with 18 balls to spare, and used the remaining overs to practice their death and target hitting skills.

AB de Villiers, coming in at No 4, dazzled the sparse crowd with an entertaining 52 off 23 balls, and captain Faf du Plessis also made good use of the opportunity with 65 off 40 balls before retiring out. The match was a productive outing for the entire batting line-up, with most of the batsmen getting a good hit-out against a bowling attack which included David Wiese, JP Duminy and Imran Tahir, who featured for the home team.  

“It’s always better to spend some time in the middle,” spin bowling coach, Claude Henderson said of the value of practice matches. “Everybody had a good opportunity today so that’s a great positive for us.

“We have options,” he said of the change of the batting line-up. “It’s just nice to see the guys going out there, hitting balls and gaining some good confidence ahead of the tournament.”

The bowlers were given a tough time against the home team’s attacking opening pair, who blitzed their way to a partnership of 77 off 7.2 overs. Duminy chipped in with 22 off 18 balls before Wiese produced a strong finish of 34 off 19 balls to lift the home team to a challenging score. Dale Steyn and Chris Morris were the most consistent and economical of the bowlers despite going wicket-less, and both went for 23 in their allotted four overs. Aaron Phangiso took one for 18 in three solid overs and continues to grow in confidence and rhythm with the ball.

“We put in a lot of work with him while we were still in South Africa,” Henderson said of Phangiso. “I’m very pleased with how it went for him today and how he has progressed in the nets this week. A lot of things had to change with his run-up and action but there are a lot of positives that we are taking from his performance today.

“It has been a very challenging period for him,” he added. “The pleasing thing is that he is strong mentally, he has a lot of courage. Normally something like this takes longer than four or five days and to have come so far in the little time that we have had has been great.” 

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