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SA cruise in warm-up T20

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After a tough series in the one-day campaign, and the way Faf and David went in the last match, the boys really enjoyed coming out and expressing themselves

CREATIVE STROKE: Heinrich Klaasen of South Africa scores a sneaky four runs during the T20 tour match between the Cricket Australia XI and South Africa, at Allan Border Field in Brisbane yesterday. Picture: EPA/Darren England

South Africa began their T20 preparations with a comfortable 41-run win against a Cricket Australia XI at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane yesterday.

The Proteas play Australia in a one-off T20 International at the Metricon Stadium at the Gold Coast on Saturday, the final fixture of the limited-overs tour.

Both teams were allowed to play 12 players; SA rested Faf du Plessis and David Miller, while Quinton de Kock took the lead behind the stumps. The match was important time out in the middle for the players who missed out during the recently concluded One-Day International series, and although limited, was a timely confidence boost for the fringe players.

SA posted an imposing total of 201/5 in their 20 overs, after winning the toss and electing to bat.

Reeza Hendricks (39 off 38 balls) and Aiden Markram (45 off 26 balls) set the platform with a rapid second-wicket partnership of 66 off 39 balls, which was backed up by an explosive third-wicket stand of 68 off 34 balls between Hendricks and Henrich Klaasen (41 off 23 balls). Farhaan Behardien (27* off 14) played the perfect finishing role at the back-end of the innings, smashing 21 runs off just six balls to take the score over 200.

The wickets were shared among the home team’s bowlers, with Gurinder Sandhu (1/18) and Jason Behrendorff (1/25) returning the most economical figures for their three-over spells.

“The boys enjoy T20 cricket,” Klaasen said after the match. “After a tough series in the one-day campaign, and the way Faf and David went in the last match, the boys really enjoyed coming out and expressing themselves.”

De Kock used seven bowlers for CA XI’s chase, which was a useful run for them to execute their T20-specific skills and strategies. Chris Morris (2/35) was the top wicket-taker for the Proteas, with Imran Tahir (1/11), Kagiso Rabada (1/13) and Tabraiz Shamsi (1/27) chipping in to restrict the CA XI to 160/7 in 20 overs.

Dale Steyn has been released from the squad and will return to South Africa, where he is set to play for the Cape Town Blitz in the upcoming Mzansi Super League which starts tomorrow.

Steyn will not be available for tomorrow’s opening match on, but is likely to feature for the weekend fixtures.

African News Agency