Australia A v South Africa A, 1st day, Townsville August 7, 2014

South Africa A on top after de Lange takes four

ESPNcricinfo staff

South Africa A 1 for 26 trail Australia A 239 (Nevill 53*, de Lange 4-53) by 213 runs

A four-wicket haul from Marchant de Lange ensured South Africa A finished on top on the first day of their four-day match against Australia A in Townsville. The Australian batsmen struggled to build any momentum after captain Moises Henriques won the toss and chose to bat, with wicketkeeper Peter Nevill the only man to register a half-century as they were bowled out for 239.

Phillip Hughes was unable to replicate his outstanding form from the recent quadrangular one-day series in Darwin and was caught at slip off Hardus Viljoen for 23, leaving Australia A at 2 for 29 after his opening partner Marcus Stoinis also fell cheaply. Tom Cooper and Callum Ferguson built a solid 80-run stand before both were caught behind off de Lange, Cooper for 36 and Ferguson for 47.

Included as a specialist batsman, Matthew Wade showed signs that he might guide the home team to a respectable total but on 32 he dragged a short ball back on to his stumps to provide Viljoen his second wicket. Allrounder Michael Neser, playing against the country of his birth, provided support for Nevill before he was caught off Simon Harmer for 31.

The end came over the next 11 overs as de Lange picked up two more wickets to finish with 4 for 53 and Nevill ended up unbeaten on 53. In reply, South Africa A reached stumps at 1 for 26 with Reeza Hendricks on 9 and Viljoen yet to score, having just lost David White, caught behind off the bowling of Neser for 17.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Peter on August 7, 2014, 23:28 GMT

    Hughes failing in the longer form? Try looking at last seasons FC stats for him, 597 runs @54.27. That failing? I know who is failing here, & that is someone who has no knowledge of cricket. Cheers, cricinfo, please publish. I also think, judging by other comments that neither side is really indicative of a true "A" side, but let's view this as a game for what both boards want, to give experience to a few younger players as well as looking at some of experienced ones.

  • greig on August 7, 2014, 16:21 GMT

    Good to see Marchant De Lange back with a bang. Can anyone confirm his bowling speeds these days?

    Gutted David White got out just before close. SA boys need to bat big tomorrow and take the score to at least 350.

  • ESPN on August 7, 2014, 15:16 GMT

    @Hyclass. Excellent and very true assessment of Watson as he is so frustrating to watch as like you say he effortlessly gets to 30-50 at basically a run a ball then loses concentration. Most annoying thing is watching the amazing Warner do what Watson should be doing as think that's what everyone expected Watson to do when he came on the scene especially the class that Watson has. It's a shame we won't probably ever see Watson's full potential as a batsmen in Tests.

  • peter on August 7, 2014, 14:51 GMT

    Sayers/Sandhu to be fair deserve a shot and could easily replace one of the 4 bowlers I listed above. So what would a "B" team then look like? Burns Cosgrove White Khawaja Wade M Marsh A McDermott Behrendorff Hazlewood Sayers Sandhu

    Again it's a little bowler heavy. And I left the likes of D Hussey out on the basis of his age. There are a few youngsters around like Silk and Muirhead that could be good shouts but I don't like how the modern era of Australian selectors pick on a whim (and sometimes remain with that whim for many a moon) rather than giving guys who have earned their chance through state cricket. There was a lot of talk about Australia now going to ask players to perform at state level before getting in the team but the whole selection process still seems muddled.

    And don't get me started on the List A one day team in the series against India A or the upcoming matches.

  • Christopher on August 7, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    Dear @Facebooker, I've written for some time, that Watson's travails were physical - caused by a physique that burned electrolytes excessively fast, causing mental fatigue, so that in any given two hour period, he'd start fading & offering chances at the 90 minute mark. His innings had an almost studied pattern to them, commencing with a flurry of boundaries, that would stall & then-dismissal -usually in the 30-50 category - other than normal variations below this to good bowling & conditions. Fatiguing would be far more pronounced in a helmet & gloves - the head & hands being radiators of the body - than when bowling. It would also be an excellent alternative explanation for his injuries. Where electrolytes are lost rapidly, the hamstrings become more prone to tearing.

  • Christopher on August 7, 2014, 12:29 GMT

    Dear @Facebooker While I appreciate your point & we'd all like to see more consistency, not just from Hughes, but from Watson & co, I'd imagine that any player who's scored an 100*, 202* & 2 x 50's in topping 500 runs in his last 8 innings, deserves support - this after 3 x 100s last season. It'd be nice to see how both teams fare over the course of these matches, before forming a view. The pitch & conditions may have relevance to both sides, in which case, perspectives alter. I'd be heartened that Hughes 23 was a 33 ball stay with 4 boundaries. I entirely understand the frustration of those who will him to success, wondering if this is a false dawn.

  • Pierre on August 7, 2014, 10:26 GMT

    @highveldhillbilly: Good points. Cook and Puttick would bring a wealth of experience to the team, and one of them (probably Puttick) would probably end up replacing Alviro as Test opener, however, for probably only 1-2 years.

  • Cliffontong on August 7, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    @Gareth_Bain and @ForeverProtea - to be honest guys, White as scored the vast majority of his runs in two matches this season, not much consistency there or track record. Yes there's certainly a dearth of openers around SA and I understand the desire to blood youngsters but what about Cook and Puttick? Long track records and if Chris Rogers has shown anything it's that older batsmen are generally very organized and know their game well.

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2014, 9:41 GMT

    @VivGilchrist - I read a while back that SOK had to get surgery done on his shoulder and it wasn't certain that he'd be fit in time (just his luck!). But I was expecting him to be in the lineup, disappointed Neser is there instead.

  • Pierre on August 7, 2014, 9:21 GMT

    Very good point Gareth_Bain. FC cricket is not well documented in SA. Why?? Eng County cricket and the Aus Sheffield Shield has reports after each day for each individual game, and discussions in between games. In SA all we hear is an overview report of the three match after the 4th day. Not the way to advertise cricket.

  • No featured comments at the moment.