Paterson replaces injured Parnell for SA A
Dane Paterson, the Cobras quick, has been called up as an emergency replacement for Wayne Parnell in the South Africa A squad that will take on England in a three-day warm-up match in Pietermaritzburg starting on Sunday. Parnell has picked up a foot injury and will not be able to take part in the match.
The news will come as a blow to Parnell's long-form ambitions and hopes of an international recall after he was left out of South Africa's squad to tour India in October and November. Parnell, who also plays for the Cobras, has been opening the bowling in the recently completed 20-over competition and twice opened the batting as well. He was being primed for a comeback after last playing a Test in March 2014 and took part in the South Africa A side's tour of India.
Paterson was also part of that A series and opened the bowling with Parnell. The visit was tough on both of them - they only picked up a wicket apiece - but Paterson has been on the selectors' radar since he topped the first-class bowling charts last season. In nine matches for the Cobras, Paterson took 42 wickets at 22.54 to take his overall tally to 228 first-class wickets at an average of 21.81.
He will bowl alongside Marchant de Lange, who is challenging for a Test spot, and Chris Morris in a strong A side. South Africa have named the two wicketkeeper batsmen competing for a place in the senior side, Dane Vilas and Quinton de Kock, although neither of them is part of the squad for the first two Tests, and also included left-hander Rilee Rossouw, who has recovered from a stress fracture and is the reserve batsman in the Test squad.
South Africa have received some good news ahead of the Test series against England, with Dale Steyn passing a fitness test on the groin injury he suffered in India last month.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent