With captain AB de Villiers still sporting his club colours in the Indian Premier League final almost 15 000kms away, the Proteas solitary warm-up against the West Indies A in Trinidad and Tobago yesterday was always going to be nothing more than simply shaking off the jetlag.
Quinton de Kock was also given an extended rest after his own IPL exertions, leaving the visitors to “borrow” former Windies U/19 wicket-keeper Steven Katwaroo to do duty behind the stumps. South Africa’s primary objective during warm-up matches on tour in the recent past has primarily been to assess the conditions and it was no different yesterday at the Queen’s Park Oval.

File picture: The Proteas solitary warm-up against the West Indies A in Trinidad and Tobago was always going to be nothing more than simply shaking off the jetlag. Photo: Danish Siddiqui. Credit: Reuters

Hashim Amla, who seemed to move seamlessly from his maiden IPL stint with the Kings XI Punjab back to traditional limited-overs cricket, set the platform for South Africa’s eventual total 280/9 with a classy 92 upfront. Transferring his Twenty20 mindset – an area where Amla has vastly improved in recent times – the former Test captain blitzed his runs off just 83 balls, striking 10 fours and a six in the process.
With virtually the entire Proteas ODI team here in the Caribbean having all played in this season’s IPL, Amla believes this could be a major asset for the visitors heading into the Tri-Series, which includes hosts West Indies and world champions Australia.
“I don’t think it is that big,” Amla said of the transition from T20 cricket to 50-overs. “You just have much more time to set the game up. You though do have to remind yourself sometimes. I actually think it’s a lot easier moving from T20 cricket to ODIs.”
Amla was particularly pleased with the contributions of the middle-to-lower order yesterday too. Farhaan Berhardien, batting at No 4 in the absence of De Villiers, put together 36 runs, while all-rounder Chris Morris continued his recent good form with a solid 31. However, it was tailenders Kyle Abbott (43 off 38 balls) and Aaron Phangiso (34 off 34 balls) that really provided some meat to the Proteas total.
“When you come to a foreign country the most important thing is having time on the legs, especially some of the guys who haven’t played in a while. We put up a good total on the board, fortunately I managed to get some runs, and a few of the lower order batsmen as well which is quite handy,” Amla said.
South Africa’s bowlers also had a tidy run-out in difficult conditions due to the consistent rain that fell during the Windies A team’s run-chase. The match was eventually called off with the hosts having posted 127/3 in 24.1 overs, causing the game to be tied under the Duckworth-Lewis calculations.
“The seamers bowled exceptionally well,” Amla added. “It started raining so they had to deal with a really wet ball which was a challenge and even then I think they bowled with good pace and direction. It was important for them to get overs under their belt so it was a good outing for them as well.” – Independent Media