JP Duminy’s stint as South Africa’s T20 captain got off to a disappointing start as they were outplayed by a Cricket Australia XI in Sydney on Sunday.
Duminy won the toss and inserted the hosts. That was as it good as it got for an under-strength South Africa, who were without Marchant de Lange, David Wiese and Imran Tahir. The young Australian invitational squad, only featuring two players over the age of 22 and including a hand full of teenagers, posted 189-5 in their 20 overs to set up a convincing 22-run victory.
The star of the first innings was captain and No 3 Ashton Turner who scored 73 off 46 balls. He was well supported by Seb Gotch who smashed a 25-ball 40 to propel the Australians to a winning total.
It could have been even worse for the tourists if it wasn’t for an inspired Kyle Abbott spell. He was the only bowler to concede less than nine runs an over, returning figures of 2-22 in his four-over ration.
In reply, Quinton de Kock fell early before Rilee Rossouw and Reeza Hendricks got the chase back on track. Hendricks fell to the leg-spinner James Muirhead for 22 to leave the score on 59-2 after seven overs.
Rossouw was the next to go for a promising 29-ball 47 before a cluster of wickets left South Africa in real trouble. Duminy scored just six and David Miller’s struggles continued as he got a second ball duck. At 83-5 in the 11th over, the writing was on the wall.
Wayne Parnell smashed 35 off just 12 balls in the final overs to give the Proteas a sniff of an unlikely victory. However, it was too little too late as the innings finished on 167 all out, condemning South Africa to a heavy defeat.
The South African team looked in need of a gallop and they will be strengthened, especially in the bowling department, come the first T20I on Wednesday. Some harsh words will be said and Duminy will be looking for a much improved performance in his first competitive match in charge.