Gibbs stars as South Africans coast to victory
South Africans 2 for 193 (Gibbs 91*, Rudolph 59*) in 35.3 overs beat Cricket Australia Chairman's XI 9 for 192 (Kruger 4-33) by 8 wickets
Herschelle Gibbs hit an unbeaten 91 as the South Africans completed a comfortable eight-wicket victory against the Cricket Australia Chairman's XI at Lilac Hill in Perth. The South Africans needed just 35.3 overs to rack up 2 for 193 after Garnett Kurger starred with the ball to restrict the Chairman's XI to 9 for 192.
After a poor outing against Western Australia, against whom he made just 25 and 13, Gibbs' innings came off just 86 balls after the South Africans had lost two quick wickets. He was ably supported by Jacques Rudolph, who was also unbeaten on 59 off 62 deliveries. The pair put on 151 runs for the third wicket after Mathew Inness had removed both the openers.
AB de Villiers made a quick 18 before he was bowled and Graeme Smith, playing his first game on the tour after recovering from a finger injury, was caught by Justin Langer off Inness for 24. At 2 for 42, Gibbs and Rudolph came together and ensured that there were no more hiccups en route to an easy victory.
If Gibbs was the batting star, then Shaun Pollock and Kruger were the bowling heroes. Pollock put in yet another stellar performance with the ball after Smith chose to field. He finished with 2 for 22 off seven overs. However, most of the credit for restricting the Chairman's XI belonged to Kruger, who rattled the middle order and finished with 4 for 33.
The Chairman's XI never recovered after Pollock knocked over Chris Rogers (2) and Ryan Campbell (23) early. Marcus North and Adam Voges put on 62 runs for the third wicket but after Gibbs ran out North for 41, Kruger kept pegging away at the rest of the batsmen to reduce the Chairman's XI to 9 for 192 before the umpires decided to end the innings after 46 overs due to time constraints.
The only mishap for the South Africans was an injury to Nicky Boje, who hurt his right hand in the field and required seven stitches. He did not bowl and was not required to bat. South Africa have a few worries ahead of the first Test against Australia: Jacques Kallis did not play this match because of an elbow injury and Charl Langeveldt is suffering from bronchitis.