SOUTH Africa’s tour of Australia has started poorly, with the Proteas shocked by four wickets against a Prime Minister’s XI that had just three players with international experience.
Dismissed for just 173 after winning the toss and batting first, the Proteas were beaten inside 37 overs in the field as captain George Bailey and youngster Josh Phillipe helped the hosts to victory.
Most concerning for South Africa will be the fact they played close to what’s expected to be the side they field against Australia in Sunday’s first one-day international of the three-game series.
The visitors lost two wickets in the first over of the day to Jason Behrendorff (3-35), and never really recovered in their only warm-up match at Canberra’s Manuka Oval.
Behrendorff’s first scalp, Quinton de Kock, fell for a first-ball duck as did Farhaan Behardien, while first drop Reeze Hendricks lasted just one ball longer for his zero.
Opener Aiden Markram fought hard for 47, allrounder David Miller hit 45 and quick bowler Kagiso Rabada finished 28 not out, but they were the only members of the visitors’ side to go past 20.
PM’s XI legspinner Usman Qadir claimed 3-28, the son of former Pakistani spinner Abdul Qadir bagging two of them with wrong’uns as he wrapped up the innings in the 42nd over.
The score was the lowest in a completed innings in a 50-over match against a PM’s XI in 12 years, while South Africa became the first visiting team to lose the fixture since 2013.
Phillipe was the PM’s XI’s best bat, hitting 57 from 53 in a knock that included a pull shot from Rabada for six and eight other boundaries.
Rabada (2-41) finally had him caught hooking at fine leg, but the South African quick should have claimed two other wickets that were denied by no-balls. Dale Steyn also had the ball hooping, but was unlucky as he went for 1-41 from his seven overs as Bailey (51 not out) and Jason Sangha (38) guided the PM’s side to victory and their first since three prime ministers ago.
One of the best moment of the match was George Bailey’s new batting stance. George Bailey took his batting stance to a whole new level!
Here’s the video: