Mthokozisi Shezi took six wickets to help South Africa A beat the Australian National Performance Squad, reports Gareth Stevens.
The left-arm seamer hailing from the Dolphins sealed the 27-run victory in Darwin with career-best bowling figures. It was the team’s second win in six outings, in a tournament also featuring Australia A and India A.
Justin Ontong won the toss and elected to bat first. The tourists managed to post 281-8 in their 50 overs, on the back of a pair of 74’s from Reeza Hendricks and Rilee Rossouw. The two young Knights batsmen ensured a decent total was on the board, but the bowlers would have to do the business on a flat Gardens Oval deck.
The reply got off to a solid start, but when Shezi came on first change he struck three blows in quick succession to leave the hosts on 42-3. Travis Head, a young left-handed batsman from Adelaide, then got the innings back on track with his 108 off 100 deliveries.
Shezi returned at the death to disturb Head’s stumps and then went on to pick up a further two scalps to finish with figures of 6-42 in his 10 overs. He was ably supported by Kagiso Rabada and Marchant de Lange who took 2-43 and 1-37 respectively.
The spinners struggled as Simon Harmer and Aaron Phangiso both conceded more than six runs an over. Their lack of control allowed the National Performance Squad to reach 254, but Shezi’s performance ensured the victory and is bound to attract the attention of the national selectors.
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