Proteas under pressure after Windies defeat

Members of the South Africa A team that inflicted a humiliating 10-wicket defeat on the West Indies at Buffalo Park on Friday are putting certain Proteas players under pressure, and that is good for South African cricket, says South Africa A coach Kepler Wessels.

”I worked with them on the Emerging Players tour, and I was happy with their performance on that tour, and I’m very pleased with the way they played in this match,” said Wessels.

”Monde Zondeki bowled superbly. He is very confident at the moment, having taken 44 SuperSport Series wickets, and that confidence came through in this match. What was also impressive was his accuracy and discipline. He didn’t bowl any no-balls, and he will certainly be putting pressure on all the bowlers in the national team.”

Wessels said he was also very pleased with the way Johan Botha had bowled. Botha took four for 17 in just more than 10 overs to wrap up the West Indies’ second innings.

”It is good for South African cricket to have another spinner showing what he can do. There are tours to the sub-continent coming up, and South Africa could do with a second spin-bowler in those conditions.”

He praised Justin Ontong for his unbeaten century in South Africa A’s first innings, but added that there were other batsmen who were also knocking on the selectors’ door.

”Players like Justin, Neil McKenzie, Boeta Dippenaar and JP Duminy are all asking questions,” he said. ”The members of the Proteas team know that, and they know that they will have to work hard to keep their place in the team.”

Wessels said it was hard to see how the West Indies were going to come back from their defeat.

”They are totally lacking confidence at the moment. Their top order were woeful, and it doesn’t look as if Chris Gayle [who has a hamstring injury] is going to be ready in time for the first Test. They are going to have to raise every level of their game in every discipline if they hope to compete with South Africa.”

West Indies coach John Dyson was also very disappointed with his team’s performance.

”We had some superb practices,” he said. ”The conditions here were fantastic — it was a great batting track, the practice facilities were excellent and we had some good positive net practices. But we wasted a wonderful opportunity to do well in this match.

”Having said that, there were a couple of players who did well — Dwayne Bravo [who made 67 in the West Indies’ second innings and took six wickets for 51, including a burst of three for eight], Darren Sammy and Fidel Edwards — they all played well. But the top order is going to have to work very hard ahead of the first Test.” — Sapa

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