March 4, 2001

South Africa slump in Tour opener against a Busta Cup XI


South Africa slumped to 271/9 at the end of day one in their warm up fixture against the West Indies Busta XI at the Everest Club in Georgetown, Guyana. The Busta XI is made up of the best of the region's young players not representing Guyana and Jamaica in the Busta International Shield final.

South Africa lost their last four wickets for just 51 runs which included some big blows by number eleven Makhaya Ntini. SA's first test against the West Indies begins Friday at the nearby Bourda ground.

Mervyn Dillon made a successful comeback to competitive cricket after missing the end of the Australian tour through injury. His 18 overs cost just 31 runs and he took the wicket of SA's topscorer Mark Boucher (56). The left arm spin pairing of Barbados' Ryan Hinds (3/48 in 19) and the Leewards Islands Sulieman Benn did the damage for the Busta XI as they shared five wickets.

Ntini's cavalier cameo entertained the good crowd as he dropped to one knee to smash 24 off just 14 balls. Of the top order batsmen, only Boucher played fluently and he made the young West Indies team regret dropping him on ten as he hit six boundaries and a massive six off the hard-working Benn who finished with 2/77.

SA openers Herschelle Gibbs (36) and Gary Kirsten (21) added exactly 50 for the first wicket. Gibbs followed a fine lofted drive with a mistimed cut off Benn while Kirsten pushed a drive to cover off the tight bowling of Kerry Jeremy. Jacques Kallis and Daryll Cullinan (20) added 58 for the third wicket before Cullinan was also caught at cover. Kallis struggled with his timing and batted just seven minutes short of three hours for 45. He took a heavy blow to the finger off Ricky Christopher. Kallis finally fell sweeping Hinds. Lance Klusener hit four good boundaries in his 27 before he top edged a pull off the accurate Ricky Christopher.

The Leeward Islands pairing of Christopher and Kerry Jeremy sustained a disciplined line throughout the day and might have expected a better reward. Jeremy had Kirsten dropped by Daren Ganga in his first spell. He took 1/40 in 15 overs while Christopher's figures were 16 overs, 2/62.