• Proteas crash in final warm-up

    The Proteas lost their second World Cup warm-up match against New Zealand by 134 runs in Christchurch on Wednesday.

    It was South Africa’s last warm-up game before their tournament starts against Zimbabwe on Sunday. They beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in their first warm-up match on Monday.

    New Zealand batted first and posted 331-8 with Brendon McCullum (59) and Kane Williamson (66) getting half-centuries.

    Vernon Philander (2-59), Kyle Abbott (2-35) and Wayne Parnell (2-52) took two wickets each, while the SA bowlers conceded 11 wides and 14 extras in total.

    South Africa started their chase poorly and were reeling at 62-6 in their first 15 overs before JP Duminy (80) and Philander (57) steadied the innings somewhat. Once Duminy was bowled by Trent Boult, it was unlikely that they would bat out their overs.

    The last wicket fell with the score on 197 in 44.2 overs.

    It is also worth noting that Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn were not used to bat or bowl, with both being rested for Sunday’s opener against Zimbabwe.

    While it looked a serious game on the surface and was watched by a crowd of several thousand who were granted free entry, both sides cruised through the first innings at a relaxed pace.

    Captain AB de Villiers used eight bowlers, four of them spinners including part-timers Duminy and Faf du Plessis. The batsmen played freely with minimal pressure after their skipper won the toss on a sun-drenched morning.

    New Zealand opener Martin Guptill, fresh from his 86-ball century against Zimbabwe two days earlier, looked in some of his best touch of the summer in reaching 26. He clouted Philander over his head for six early and timed the ball sweetly, before he was nicked out by left-armer Wayne Parnell to one that angled across.

    McCullum struggled for timing early but went after the bowling, hitting seven fours and a six before he missed out to Aaron Phangiso’s spin. As usual, Williamson ticked along at better than a run a ball with minimal effort before he mistimed a pull shot and offered a catch to mid-on.

    The game had unofficial status and both sides named all 15 players in their squad, with the ability to chop and change as they wished.

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