'Matured' Khaya Zondo makes a big statement as he leads Proteas recovery in Test warm-up

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Khaya Zondo and Rassie van der Dussen shared a partnership of 143 as South Africa reached 282-6 at stumps on the opening day of their tour match against England Lions.

The match, a warm-up game ahead of next week's first Test of a three-match series at Lord's, had seen pacemen Craig Overton (4-48) and Ollie Robinsopn (2-56) star for England's second string as the Proteas declined to 129-5 at Canterbury on Tuesday.

The pair, however, regained the initiative on the first day of four with an impressive sixth-wicket stand as the sun shone at the headquarters of southeast county Kent.

Van der Dussen, whose 149-ball 75 included 10 fours, was bowled by Sussex's Robinson, looking to prove his fitness to the England hierarchy.

Zondo was unbeaten 86 not out at the close and eyeing a century following 14 fours and a six.

For the 32-year-old Dolphins stalwart, this innings potentially represents his newfound maturity as he seeks to make a fist of things at the highest level.

"I'm just watching every ball and hoping to get better all the time while mixing with some of the best players in the world," Zondo said afterwards.

"I definitely believe I've become a more mature cricketer. I've accepted my limitations, but also accepted the areas where I'm really good at too.

"I've just kept on working, no matter the circumstances. I'm going to make sure that I make as many runs as possible any time I get an opportunity to bat. I want to be there for the boys. You want to impress." 

South Africa, without injured fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, enjoyed an opening stand of 85 before captain Dean Elgar was caught behind by Sam Billings off Overton for 39.

Fellow opener Sarel Erwee was caught by Liam Duckett off Robinson for 42, while Keegan Petersen, Aiden Markram and Ryan Rickelton - caught by Will Jacks off Overton for a duck - all fell cheaply.


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