Titans 269 for 6 (Bodi 103, Myburgh 75*) beat South Africa 243 (Pollock 67) by 26 runs
South Africa's bowling limitations were further exposed in a warm-up match at Centurion on Sunday, as the Titans swept to a 26-run win to raise concerns over the side's form and preparations ahead of next month's Champions Trophy.
After electing to field first Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini and Jacques Kallis kept things relatively tight but there are concerns as to the backup bowlers. As was the case against a relatively weak Zimbabwean team the South African support bowlers lacked the cutting edge in the middle and latter stages of the Titans' innings, and were incapable of closing off the match. Andrew Hall, for example, was only disciplined for five out of six balls, the last being severely punished. Andre Nel also has a lot of work to do, both in terms of line, length and especially pace, while Robin Peterson simply cannot be relied to tie up one end for 10 overs.
Early wickets had the Titans struggling at 30 for 2 after 10 overs but Albie Morkel soon put paid to that as he played aggressively for 37 runs off 33 balls and twice hit Nel for towering sixes. Goolam Bodi paced his innings well and punished wayward balls to reach 100 off 129 balls but threw it away with a wild swing at Nel in the final overs.
Johann Myburgh was similarly untroubled, breezing to a 55-ball fifty and shared a 100-run partnership with Bodi at a run-a-ball. Myburgh batted through to the end and finished with 75 off 76 balls as the Titans set the South Africans a target of 270.
But South Africa's innings never really got going with the top four only managing twenties. Both Loots Bosman and Boeta Dippenaar fatally chased wide deliveries while Jacques Kallis was too late in defence. AB de Villiers, his first outing of the season, was clearly very rusty and will need more time in the middle if he is to be a threat in India. Mark Boucher and Kemp could not recreate their form of late and suddenly the South Africans, thanks to 25 extras (11 wides and 12 no balls) from the Titans, found themselves at 156 for 6 after 29 overs. It became 177 for 7 when Hall held out at mid-on and the writing was on the wall.
Shaun Pollock was the one, last hope for South Africa and he took control of proceedings, smashing 50 from 56 balls and starring in a 48-run partnership with Makhaya Ntini - whose contribution to their stand was just two. However, it was too little, too late and South Africa were dismissed for 243.
To add to all the woes, the South Africans were once again slow in bowling the 50 overs in the required time, but were excused because a rather lenient 19 minutes were added for a few hold-ups in play. Will those in control be as lenient during the Champions Trophy? Only time will tell.
Keith Lane works for Cricinfo in South Africa