South Africa v SA Composite XI, Johannesburg, 2nd day February 5, 2014

Bowlers, du Plessis enjoy workout

South Africa 300 and 147 for 5 (du Plessis 67*) lead South African Composite XI 135 (de Kock 50, Peterson 3-9) by 312 runs

Niggles and another difficult day for batting were the biggest talking points from the second day of the tour match at the Wanderers. South Africa's frontline bowlers all had a decent workout, with Dale Steyn and Robin Peterson the highest wicket-takers and Rory Kleinveldt throwing his name into that hat to fill the lower-order allrounder vacancy.

After a solid showing with the bat on the first day, Kleinveldt also proved handy with the ball. He was brought on after 11 overs of the second morning, with no wickets having fallen at that point and two talented youngsters, Quinton de Kock and Stiaan van Zyl, looking to plant roots.

De Kock was the most successful of the Composite XI's batsmen, playing freely on a ground he knows well. He was their only batsman to score fifty and showed the promise that has had many calling on him to join the Test squad. He took one risk too many after reaching the milestone and flashed at a full delivery from Morne Morkel to edge to Hashim Amla in the covers.

Kleinveldt was not the protagonist of the breakthrough but he followed up well, dismissing van Zyl in the next over. With a teasing line outside off, he had the batsman undecided and caught behind. Kleinveldt maintained the same disciplines that have seen Vernon Philander succeed at Test level and also accounted for Rilee Rossouw. At 80 for 6, the match was no longer a contest and turned into an exercise in how quickly South Africa's bowlers could finish things off.

Temba Bavuma, who batted at No.8, much lower than his usual position in the top four, because he was feeling unwell, and Dominic Hendricks put on a resistance that lasted just under an hour. They showed the patience required on a surface like this but eventually caved in. Hendricks charged Peterson and offered midwicket a simple catch.

That brought Wayne Parnell, who turned on his ankle on the first day and who CSA advised would not bowl any further in the game, to the crease. He moved without discomfort and ended up bowling as well but he could not hold up the Composite XI tail. Steyn cleaned them up, bowling Bavuma, and having Parnell and Beuran Hendricks caught behind to ensure he had wickets to his name.

After the first-innings showing, South Africa's top-order would have wanted to show more staying power on a tricky pitch but Alviro Petersen lasted only seven balls. He was given out lbw off the left-arm quick Hendricks, who dismissed him for the second time in the match.

There was better news though, as Graeme Smith and Amla dug in for half an hour before Amla chased a wide delivery from Hardus Viljoen and was caught behind. Smith then hit Parnell in the air before Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy set about rebuilding - among the bowlers they faced was Viljoen, drafted to replace Parnell and Lonwabo Tsostobe, who is recovering from injury, and bowled four overs - before there was reason for South Africa to worry again.

Duminy had to retire hurt with a sore wrist. He was seen icing it but word from management is that it is not too much of a concern. Du Plessis went about the rest of the afternoon confirming he is the right man for the No. 4 spot. He batted conservatively against a searching Composite XI attack and a much-less expensive Parnell.

Du Plessis has previously indicated surfaces will not be easy in the Australia series and he is the batsman that has had the best practice for that. On the third and final day, it is likely South Africa's bowlers will be in action for the most part, looking for a final competitive run around before the Tests.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 6, 2014, 10:57 GMT

    An Indian supporter said the other day on Cricinfo: " The problem is too many Indians go to watch cricket and too few supporters of the rest, save English and Australians, do". It pains me to state that I was the only spectatator at the Wanderers during the first session of the Proteas vs the SA composite XI! There were never more than 20 spectatators on days one and two. This is a shame because at least 18 of the country's best cricketers in the longer version were on show. This was really more than a practice match; it was in fact a trial to see who was the best fourth seamer or the allrounder to replace Kallis. I find it strange that persons can express a view without having seen the players in action! Do they perhaps know that McClaren got Graeme Smith to knick one to second slip early in his innings, but it was a no-ball? Really, it was pity that not more people attend. Even a bigger shame that none was shown on TV!!!

  • Brandon on February 6, 2014, 9:30 GMT

    Play Hendericks with Steyn as opening bowlers, what more do you need, swing from both ends and rigt arm left arm combination, with philander and morkel as the backup bowlers, also I feel that if alviro does not make runs in the first test ,he needs to be replaced by de Kock asap, He can also keep so that ab can rest the hand

  • Dummy4 on February 6, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    Its good to see these kind of competition. I agree that Alviro is not showing much confidence. I hope they give De Cock the nod, as his showing class. Amla is a bit of a concern looking at recent performances. Good to see Kleinveldt showing his worth. Best of luck boys, looks like your preparation is going well. :)

  • greig on February 6, 2014, 5:03 GMT

    Ok, now that Alviro Petersen has failed twice - surely he will be replaced in the Test team finally. B.Hendricks proving the selectors are fools for leaving him out stands at 60/4 in the match so far and has only bowled 4 overs in the 2nd innings. Q. De Kock top scoring for the Composite team and almost doubling anything his teammates could score. What more does the guy have to do?

  • Donovan on February 6, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    Really love seeing the talented younger player against experience really puts things in perspective, need to do this more often

  • creebo on February 5, 2014, 19:43 GMT

    robbie p and kleinveldt economy rate under 2 and both pick 2 wickets each ,

  • Android on February 5, 2014, 18:00 GMT

    Amla's form may be a cause of concern for the SA. Hasn't been performing too well in this match and the Indian series before it.

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