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August 4, 2009
Corrie van Zyl, Cricket South Africa's High Performance coach, has shrugged off the disappointment of South Africa's surprise defeat in the Emerging Players Tournament final in Brisbane to India, saying his team gained more from the experience. South Africa were the favourites to take the title, having won all their eight matches before choking in the final when faced with a target of 284.
"Obviously it would have been nice to have won the final but it was not to be and, if somebody had told me before the tournament that we would win eight out of nine matches I would certainly have taken it," van Zyl told SAPA.
"This tour was an opportunity to grow as a team and to get a taste of international cricket, of touring and all the associated experiences that go with it. In that sense the tour was a huge success and the commitment of every player throughout the tournament was excellent, whether they were in the actual playing XI or not."
Fast bowler CJD de Villiers, with 10 wickets, and batsman Heino Kuhn (286 runs) were the main performers for South Africa. van Zyl also singled out offspinner Thandi Tshabalala, who took four wickets in two games.
"CJ was outstanding while Thandi towards the end of last season and again on this tour has shown signs of reaching his true potential," he said. "But really it was a team effort and there was always a player to put his hand up when it was needed."
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