SA secures draw against Sri Lanka
The Proteas reserves secured a 1-0 series victory over Sri Lanka A with a draw in the second four-day cricket test match in played at Kingsmead, in Durban, on Monday.
The hosts ended the final day on 130 for two in pursuit of their 349 victory target in 71 overs.
South Africa were severely hampered by injuries in the second match, which began when seamer Rory Kleinveldt had to withdraw with tonsillitis.
Fellow fast bowlers Ryan McLaren (side strain) and Pumelela Matshikwe (back) also picked up knocks throughout the game, which limited their participation.
Coach Vincent Barnes said the heavy workload on domestic players was cause for concern.
“Obviously, playing at this time of year, you can see the injuries that some of the players picked up was a result of overloading,” Barnes said.
“It’s still off-season and that was one of my concerns. We still have a lot of cricket ahead and we’ve now got to get these players ready again.” The tourists batted first in the second match and made 336 and 302 for five declared. SA A replied with 290 and 130 for two.
The national A team are now due to travel to Zimbabwe on Wednesday for a Tri-Series alongside the hosts and the Sri Lankans.
Barnes said playing at this time of year was not ideal for most of the players, and that there was not enough time for players to recuperate from the last 12 months of playing.
“We committed to Zimbabwe last year and they needed to play, so we were open to returning again this year.
“It was a good thing for them and for us. Sri Lanka then told us that they wanted to come here and we couldn’t say no.
“Ideally it’s not the best thing to start so early. We needed the players to have a break after the season, but that didn’t happen. It won’t happen next year again.” He felt his players achieved what they set out to after the draw.
“The second game was sort of disrupted with the injuries before and during the game. So it didn’t help that we went in with a few bowlers short.
“But overall, I think we ticked most of the boxes. There’s some players that have put in big performances, perhaps we could have done with a bit more consistency.
“From a bowling side, Rory and McLaren bowled exceptionally well. It was also good to see (Wayne) Parnell take a bit of responsibility at the end ... being the one fit bowler there.” All three are on the fringes of the Proteas one-day and Twenty20 teams, while Faf du Plessis, the series captain, is a regular in the national limited-overs set-up.