June 25, 2003

South Africa ease to 69-run win

Wisden CricInfo staff

South Africans 261 for 4 (Kallis 66, Smith 65) beat Worcestershire 192 (Kemp 77, Dawson 4-26) by 69 runs

South Africa continued to prepare for their opening match of the NatWest Series on Saturday, by easing to a 69-run victory against Worcestershire at New Road. After winning the toss and batting, South Africa rattled up an impressive total of 261 for 4, thanks to 65 from the captain, Graeme Smith, and a composed 66 from 103 balls from Jacques Kallis, who built on his matchwinning 81 at Wormsley. Worcestershire's reply was built around another fine South African innings - from their overseas player Justin Kemp, who made 77 from 87 balls.

In fact, the only South African on show who failed to enjoy himself was Worcestershire's other overseas player, Nantie Hayward, whose decision to play a full season of county cricket ruled him out of selection for the tour. He went into the game hoping to prove a point or two, but instead emerged battered and bruised after being pasted for 66 runs in his ten overs.

It wasn't all one-way traffic, though, and South Africa's full-strength side were given an early working-over by Hayward and Kabir Ali, who was released from England duty to take part in the match. Hayward picked up the first wicket to fall - Herschelle Gibbs, caught by Stephen Peters at third man for 27 - while Kabir struck Smith a painful blow on the gloves in the first over of the day.

Kabir was the most impressive of the Worcestershire bowlers, and he had a huge shout for caught-behind when Kallis had made just 1. But Kallis survived and added 99 for the second wicket before Jacques Rudolph, Mark Boucher and Martin van Jaarsveld applied the finishing touches to a handy innings.

Worcestershire's innings got off to a rocky start, thanks to a fine opening spell from yet another of their South African connections - Andrew Hall, who took two wickets in three balls after Makhaya Ntini had removed Stephen Moore for a first-ball duck (30 for 3). Kemp and Kadeer Ali engineered a recovery, before David Leatherdale chipped in with 38, but Alan Dawson skittled the tail with four quick wickets.