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Australia v South Africa, World Cup 2011 warm-up match, Bangalore

Clinical South Africa surge to easy win

The Bulletin by Firdose Moonda

February 15, 2011

Comments: 97 | Text size: A | A

South Africa 218 for 3 (Smith 65, Amla 60) beat Australia 217 (Clarke 73, Steyn 3-21) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Dale Steyn removes Shane Watson early, Australia v South Africa, World Cup warm-up match, Bangalore, February 15, 2011
Dale Steyn was quicker and sharper than he was in the first warm-up game in Chennai © Getty Images
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The Australia bowlers were dealt a heavy snotklap (slap in the face) as South Africa chalked up a seven-wicket win in their warm-up match in Bangalore. Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla both retired to give the middle order some time at the crease during their chase.

"It's lovely to win especially since Australia are a really good team. We'll take a lot of confidence from beating them," Amla said at the post-match press conference. The emphatic nature of the win will buoy South Africa, who have a painful history against Australia in the World Cup, especially as they dominated with both bat and ball.

Australia's attack started promisingly when Shaun Tait bowled quick up front and almost took Amla's head off in the first over. He ended up being his own worst enemy because of his inconsistency. Brett Lee also initially caused problems for the opening pair and had two loud appeals against Amla in his second over but was soon tamed. South Africa saw off the opening pair and that opened the floodgates as runs poured in.

The contest between Mitchell Johnson and Smith was their first since the hand-breaking incidents of 2008 and 2009 but Smith won the battle comfortably this time around. Johnson struggled with his line and length and proved no real threat. With John Hastings and the spinners bowling fairly economically, but not too dangerously, Smith and Amla both found their groove. The former was still struggling a bit for form in the earlier warm-up game against Zimbabwe, but looked as though he found it here.

The pair took South Africa to 131 before Smith went back to the dressing room to make way for Faf du Plessis, and three overs later Amla gave up his place for JP Duminy. The two middle-order men were cautious in their approach, and managed just 19 runs off 36 balls before frustration set in and du Plessis was run out.

Duminy's timing seemed to be eluding him, until the six he smacked on the up off Johnson, and he got better as he hung around to finish it with AB de Villiers. That meant there was no opportunity for Colin Ingram or Morne van Wyk to spend time at the crease. Amla said the team was not concerned about those who have not batted in a match situation because they are "working hard in the nets."

Despite Australia's bowlers not claiming a single wicket, vice-captain Michael Clarke was not disheartened. "We understand that these are practice games and an opportunity to give everyone a run. I thought Jason [Krejza] and Smithy [Steven Smith] bowled really well. We will go about training and practising hard for Zimbabwe in a week's time."

The South Africans have no such bowling concerns as the dynamism of their attack was evident when they restricted Australia to 217. The seamers did the damage up front and the end while the tweakers tore through the Australian middle order.

Dale Steyn was sharper and quicker and able to achieve more swing than in the first warm-up match in Chennai. He was magnificent from the start when he trapped Shane Watson lbw with his fourth ball. What was equally impressive was the impact Tsotsobe had from the other end, from where he got some decent movement. His first ball presented Kallis with the opportunity to take a catch and dismiss Brad Haddin, but the allrounder put it down. Tsotsobe went on to beat the bat for three consecutive balls and was able to exact revenge on Haddin when he ran him out off his own bowling in his next over.

Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting's 126-run partnership provided some resistance, but the spinners struck in the middle overs to scupper the attempted recovery from the early wickets. Imran Tahir was even more impressive than on Saturday and was asking questions of the batsman with almost every ball.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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Comments: 97 
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Posted by Amol on (February 18, 2011, 16:38 GMT)

Meety: No it's not funny. It's like AUS, when down in the dumps, taking inpiration from Gibbs dropping THAT catch that changed their attitude towards that World Cup and overall cricket in general while chasing a mammoth 270+ against SA. It's a matter to attitude and hope and drawing blood.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 18, 2011, 4:39 GMT)

If you dont have a quality spinner in your squad in the sub-continant wickets , its always safer to play with a quality seamer . Cus the sub-continant Batsmen are more threatening than their spinners !!

Krejza's and Tahir's can be easily swept away by the batting powerhouse of India , Sri Lanka and Pakistan .

Posted by Marcio on (February 18, 2011, 4:21 GMT)

Most people writing comments here are clueless. Their "insights" change with every game. If SA lose their next game they will wrte they have no chance. The fact is that these games are practice. Why else would Australia bring D Hussey on to bowl when India were 8/130? If it was a real game, they would have finished off India with actual bowlers instead of letting them score another 90 runs against "bowlers" who are atually batsmen. It was a good decision letting India get those extra runs - it helped give AUS batsmen more time at the crease & to play against spin. There is no such thing as a loss in these games as long as you learn something. Winning can actually be bad. It would have been worse for AUS if they'd finished off India for 140 and won in 20 overs without facing spin. They would not have been able to acknowledge their weaknesses. I expect AUS to do very well in this tournament. Too bad Dirk Nannes, AUS best bowler, has not been selected. He's 3 times the bowler Bollinger is

Posted by David on (February 17, 2011, 19:49 GMT)

I agree with others on this blog - no need to panic - it's only warm-up games. We've got some terrific bowlers in the squad. We've got Brett Lee, and....Brett Lee, and....um, Brett Lee. Seriously, we're no chance of making the semis with this bowling lot. Mitchell Johnson to his girlfriend...."hey darl, I can't get out of this Aus squad no matter what I do - I think I'd have to bowl so wide that I hit one of the selectors straight between the eyes". Yeh?? - not if he had a stump painted on his melon.

Posted by Lalith on (February 17, 2011, 11:00 GMT)

@Optimus_Prime_ Yes Aussie players are counting until group matches finish and go home.

Posted by Lalith on (February 17, 2011, 10:56 GMT)

I have watched a lot of ODI's that Aussie played. This is the worst that I can remember for a long time. Aussies lost ODI's but after a tight fight. Aussies were very difficult to beat. This time no comments from Ponting

Posted by Lalith on (February 17, 2011, 10:51 GMT)

Is it warm up or Cool down for Aussies? This Aussie team is the worst ever in any world cups like Black Caps. They solely depend on Fast men of whom Lee is only consistent. All other bowlers including spinners are rubbish. SA are the best team for me right now. Looking forward to see IND Vs SA match which would be the best match in the group stage. Any team got top spinners are the contenders for the cup.

Posted by Andrew on (February 17, 2011, 10:12 GMT)

@Amol_Ind_SA - very funny! Oz won that match with the small matter of 7 wickets & 111 balls spare! LOL! @landl47 - another pointless comment. There is a difference between this game & the 6-1 thrashing - warm ups ARE NOT ODIs. So IF this meant something, (other than being a warm up) - I'd be very worried about your mobs "victory" over the mighty Canada! LOL! Trialling KP as an opener just before the W/Cup - LOL! Talk about panic!

Posted by John on (February 17, 2011, 9:55 GMT)

You really can't blame us Aussie fans from dreaming on. It's just that we have gotten used to winning. This whole losing thing is kind of foreign to us. We are all expecting our side to turn a corner and start winning everything in sight again. This is supposed to happen at any moment, despite us being very aware that there is no way our current side can do that.

Posted by Richard on (February 17, 2011, 7:34 GMT)

janbaksteen-Let's not get into an argument over semantics now.

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