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SA A set themselves challenge of taking 20 wickets in second clash against India A

30 November 2021 - 11:48 By SPORTS REPORTER
Malibongwe Maketa is the current SA A head coach.
Malibongwe Maketa is the current SA A head coach.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

The SA A side are eager for an improved performance with ball in hand when they take on their counterparts India A in the second four-day match at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.

Cricket fans can catch all the action from the ‘A’ series taking place from November 23 to December 9 live on SuperSport’s YouTube page.

The first contest between the two sides, that feature their nation’s best cricketers who are knocking on their national team’s door, ended in a draw after a combination of inclement weather and batter-friendly conditions scuppered any chance of either side taking the game away.

SA declared on 509/7 in their first innings following an impressive batting display with Pieter Malan (163) and Tony de Zorzi (117) starring before the visitors delivered an imposing performance of their own with the bat, recording a total of 308/4 as the conditions cut their innings short.

SA A head coach, Malibongwe Maketa was pleased with what he saw in the first match.

“It was a decent start in terms of the series,” Maketa noted.

“Losing the toss and being sent in to bat, being two (wickets) down and the way we recovered was very positive.

“Well done to Pieter Malan on a good innings in terms of what we needed at the time as a team and gladly supported by Sinethemba Qeshile and Jason Smith, guys who came in and really batted well.

“We pride ourselves on partnerships, we got those, and it is something we want to build on.

“When it comes to the bowling, unfortunately we weren’t that good at the start, but we pulled it back quite nicely in terms of our control of line and length, which is encouraging and something we want to build on going forward into the next game,” said Maketa.

Looking ahead to the all-important second encounter, Maketa believes it will be vital for his team to remain intent on taking 20 wickets during the match, despite challenging conditions, to get the desired result.

“Going forward, it is important for us to stay positive in terms of looking to take 20 wickets.

“We’ve seen that it is not going to be easy. We knew coming in it was not going to be easy to take 20 wickets. So when it comes to our bowling attack, we are really going to be hard on ourselves in terms of our skill set and executing our disciplines to be able to take the 20 wickets.

“Without taking anything for granted, the batters will need to, again, put us in a position where we are able to set positive fields for long periods of time to be able to take 20 wickets.

“In saying all that, we still need to bat well, and we are looking to that challenge. It’s a good Indian team and the guys will be tested. A few guys are coming in from the Indian side, so we are looking forward to that as well,” Maketa concluded.


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