PAKISTAN STUNT PROTEAS
By: Khanyisani Dlomo
Pakistan outplayed Proteas to win the final warm-up match by seven wickets at the Oval Stadium in London on Monday ahead of the start of the ICC Champions League.
The tournament starts on Thursday when South Africa will play India. Their other two pool matches are against Pakistan and the West Indies.
The Proteas were very much in practice match mode as they gave opportunities to all 15 members of their squad. Pakistan won an important toss that saw their seam bowlers exploit a bit of movement off the pitch.
South African boys struggled from the moment when Hashim Amla was dismissed by Junaid Khan on his second ball.
With the game format allowing them to play all their batsman, JP Duminny and Ryan McLaren came in and gave Pakistan some sort of target to chase with a stand of 94 from 22.3 overs.
McLaren made top score of 55 off 72 balls with six boundaries in a continuation of the impressive all-round form he has shown this season.
Lonwabo Tsotsobe was the only South African bowler to take a wicket while Amla contributed a run out with a direct hit.
Captain A.B. de Villiers was optimistic after the match despite the loss. “It’s never nice to lose like we did today…And in saying that, you have to take these warm-up games with the right mindset, it’s not really about the result but what you take out from it,” he said.
“I’m comfortable with where the boys are at right now, the batters have been playing really well… and once we get going in the tournament each player will stand out when the time is right. From a bowling department I’m really happy,” he added.