Worcestershire v South Africans, Tour match, New Rd, 1st day July 27, 2012

Worcestershire make the South Africans work


Worcestershire 70 for 3 (Pardoe 40*, Steyn 2-26) trail South Africans 237 for 9 dec. (de Villiers 80, Russell 3-40) by 167 runs

Two wickets in two overs from Dale Steyn and half centuries from AB de Villiers and Albie Morkel papered over the South Africans' unresolved issues after the first day of their tour match against Worcestershire. The three batsmen who most needed time in the middle were all out cheaply on one of their only opportunities to have match time ahead of the second Test at Headingley next week.

Openers Alviro Petersen and Jacques Rudolph, the latter standing in for Graeme Smith who is back home with his new-born daughter, were dismissed in the first eight overs. JP Duminy made just 5 and Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel were dismissed cheaply. A useful contribution from Vernon Philander, who has not lived up to his allrounder status thus far, buoyed the South African lower order.

After a fairly quiet start, Rudolph tried his first aggressive shot off David Lucas in the fifth over only for Neil Pinner at point to put the chance down. However, the drop was not costly as Rudolph inside-edged onto his stumps playing an expansive drive four balls later.

De Villiers hit the first boundary of the match, a pull through midwicket, to set the tone for his innings but Petersen could not follow suit. The opener, who made a duck in the Test match, looked tentative and eventually succumbed when he went forward to Chris Russell, who has yet to play a first-class game, and got an edge to second slip.

The innings was steadied by de Villiers, who brought out his full range of strokes, and JP Duminy, another who did not bat at The Oval. They put on a partnership of 53, although Duminy contributed minimally and it was up to de Villiers' drives and pulls to keep the score moving. Duminy was lbw when he played back to Jones.

Albie Morkel, who did not feature in the squad until an injury ruled out Marchant de Lange, made a solid start with two boundaries off Jones' sixth over and used the opportunity to put it an extended innings. Morkel was solid after lunch, with his cover drive earning him most of his runs and put on 91 with de Villiers for the fourth wicket. He was also dismissed after missing a drive, to give Russell his third wicket.

Morkel's was the first of five wickets that fell in 72 runs. De Villiers was caught at cover playing a lazy shot and the spinners did the rest of the damage. Moeen Ali removed Steyn and Morne Morkel while Shaaiq Choudhry undid the replacement wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile and Robin Peterson, who was caught at mid-on.

South Africa declared with 22 overs left in the day and Dale Steyn steamed in to make an immediate impact. He induced the edge of Daryl Mitchell off the first ball of the innings and Alviro Petersen dived to his right to take the catch. With the first ball of his next over, Steyn removed Moeen, caught by the same fielder.

Matt Pardoe and James Cameron saw off 12 and a half overs before Cameron was caught at first slip. Pardoe saw out the day to end on an unbeaten 40.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Peter on July 28, 2012, 21:20 GMT

    Justin: Can't really answer your question, as I'm as bewildered as you are at these nonsensical 2-day games offered to (or asked for by) tourists. As a 2-day game it can't, of course, be classified as 1st class, the minimum requirement for that being 3 days. So none of the figures will ever go into the stats of the players or the counties, as the records of 2-day games just disappear into the ether. (All the pyjama stuff also fails to qualfiy as 1st class, of course, including all ODIs & World Cups and all the rest, so they have to have their own category of stats - presumably to justify their existence. The saddest thing these days is that counties don't put out their strongest sides any more against tourists, these fixtures being relegated to the category of "warm-up." Not so long ago they were one of the highlights of a county's season. I'd rather watch a proper 3-day Kent v the S Africans match, as I did recently at C'bury, than any number of this meaningless T20 tripe.

  • Dummy4 on July 28, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    Can anyone tell me why they are only playing two days? Are First Class County matches only scheduled for 2 days in the UK?

  • Dummy4 on July 28, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    Dean Elgar always had better credentials as an opener than Alviro. Rudolph should be replaced by Albie, who, besides batting at 7, can provide another seam bowling option.

  • Dummy4 on July 28, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    Lets remember that test cricket is not abt speed. Although it was big win for South Africa and they were convincing in the first test it wasn't an easy win. Smith's hundred was hard work in the middle, in the beginning he didn't look like he was going to score a century. I think as long as S.A don't take England lightly and they keep a cool head in the second Test we have the series in the bag.

  • Allan on July 28, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    Hammonds you are right about Hughes technique being flawed and this is why he didn't play this game as he would have been caught out. But Khawaja has one of the best technqiues in the game as ackknowledged by experts such as Border, Mark Waugh and Lehman in various articles. Did you forget his highest score of 70 in a record 400 chase against the best bowling attack in South Africa only a year back.

  • Mariam on July 28, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    I notice that Hughes is not playing in the warm up game against South Africa, didn't want his technique tested outside the off stump but is ok to play 20 20. Hughes should be kept away from the side, doesn't even have what it takes to play the South African attack and takes the easy way out.Hughes is not playing against South Africa where we could have seen all this talk about his improved technique, instead he sits out the match where a century would have shut many people up. And he is not injured so i am not buying that.

  • India on July 28, 2012, 0:05 GMT

    @RandyOZ: Even if Hughes would have been picked, he really would not have spent much time in the middle other than when he was fielding.

  • Shalin on July 27, 2012, 23:31 GMT

    The result of a warm-up is irrelevant, the point is to get practice. The Aussies used to do poorly in these all the time.

  • Kieron on July 27, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    Guys!!!!!!!!! This is a warm-up match! Don't read anything into it, i don't! Hasn't the greatest test victory off all-time laid the " under-cooked" fairytales to rest already? Like VRN 59 already pointed out, Duminy and Rudolph made Half centuries in the previous tour matches! Who cares what happens in a practice match, it's just pure practice!!! The only thing i'm worried about and agree with, is regarding the concerns raised about Alviro Petersen! But he will be fine, don't overreact! I know England is a great side, but South-Africa haven't even played at their best yet!!!! So don't be surprised if England get's whitewashed! England are a great side, but South-Africa is a better side! It's as simple as that!

  • Dummy4 on July 27, 2012, 19:40 GMT

    There should be real concern in the Protea camp regarding the form of Petersen and Rudolph. The latter has had an indifferent tour in NZ earlier this year despite one very good innings when he was not under pressure. I can not see him scoring big runs at Headingley despite the fact that he knows the conditions there well. Ditto Alviro Petersen. In the first test in NZ he tried to play an ODI innings to impress the ODI selectors. He was obviously spoken to and played better in the following tests. It is evident from his excuse that got the "best" ball in the Oval test that he is "covering" for himself. His performance so far must have restored the Eng bowlers' confidence for the rest of the series. Expect also Fleet Street to hammer on this aspect. We can only hope that Petersen pulls himself together and that Gary Kirsten and co include Albie Ml in Rudolph's place. Tsolekile is a very good keeper but not a reliable test batsman. All not so cosy in SA camp. Hope my concern is invalid.

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