de Villiers warms up with a hundred
South Africans 8 for 320 dec (de Villiers 129, McKenzie 69, Amla 59*) v Western Australia
AB de Villiers is another player the South Africans don't have to worry about entering Wednesday's first Test after he fine-tuned with a century against Western Australia's 2nd XI at the WACA. After Hashim Amla's hundred in the tour opener, he scored 59 not out and the tourists received a further boost with de Villiers and Neil McKenzie finding form at the right time.
de Villiers, who retired on 129, and McKenzie combined for a 124-run third-wicket stand after the tourists, who won the toss, slipped to 2 for 29. They recovered quickly and finished with a comfortable 8 for 320 declared at stumps on the first day of the two-day fixture.
McKenzie collected a well-earned 69 while de Villiers flexed with 18 fours and three sixes during his 181-ball innings. Amla continued his strong start to the tour and at the end of the day the only batting concerns were the short stays of Graeme Smith, Ashwell Prince and Mark Boucher.
An elbow problem kept Smith from the first encounter and he hit two boundaries in his 17 deliveries before being bowled by Drew Porter for 2. The South Africans' second wicket fell when Prince (10) was caught at mid-off from the bowling of Justin Coetzee, who finished with 2 for 56. Boucher (13) departed in the second session, hitting Chris Thompson to deep square-leg, and it was left to Amla and de Villiers to add another 72 before de Villiers retired.
The tourists received some good news in the morning with the fast bowler Morne Morkel, who sprained his ankle on Wednesday, passed fit to play. He joined Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini and Paul Harris in a full-strength bowling attack. Steyn and Ntini both scored 4 late in the day while Harris was unbeaten on 11.