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Saturday, Feb 23rd

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South Africa produced an uncanny replica of their first innings batting effort in the first Castle Lager Test match against Sri Lanka at Kingsmead when the second Test match got under way at St. George’s Park on Thursday.

The end result was that they got dismissed for 222 runs compared with the 235 they made in Durban. This is, however, a contest between two struggling top-orders and they were still well in the game at the close of play with Sri Lanka on 60/3 still trailing by 162 on the first innings.

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The experienced trio of Willie le Roux, Faf de Klerk and Franco Mostert are back in the Springbok starting team for Saturday’s Test against France at the Stade de France in Paris.

The match in the French capital is South Africa’s second fixture of the 2018 Castle Lager Outgoing Tour to the United Kingdom and France and kicks off at 22h05 (SA time).

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South African captain, Faf du Plessis, has asked for a more clinical performance from his players in the second one-day international (ODI) against Australia taking place at the Adelaide Oval on Friday. The bowlers were almost faultless in the opening match in Perth to dismiss the home team for 152 in 38.1 overs, and it is with the bat that Du Plessis has asked for more ruthlessness and improvement.

It is often said to never change a winning combination, but the captain admits the limited opportunities in a three-match series could warrant a few tweaks to scout as many players as possible. All-rounders, Chris Morris and Dwaine Pretorius are options, while left-arm wrist-spinner, Tabraiz Shamsi, is also a look-in in potentially slow drop-in pitch conditions.

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Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi se the tone up front as the Standard Bank Proteas crushed Australia by six wickets in the opening ODI on their tour ‘down under’ at Perth on Sunday.

The Proteas won the toss on a typically lively pitch and went in with their full front-line pace attack. There was no recovery for Australia after Man of the Match Steyn and Ngidi reduced them to 8/3 inside 6 overs. They later slumped to 66/6 in 21 overs as Andile Phehlukwayo (3/33 in 6 overs) also played an important role.

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Theunis De Bruyn put down his marker for an extended run in the Proteas Test team with his maiden Test century on the fourth and final day of the second Test match against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo on Monday.

He was unable to prevent Sri Lanka from clinching the inevitable win by 199 runs and a 2-0 series victory but both he and Temba Bavuma will have gone a long way to restore credibility for South Africa’s ability to make runs on the sub-continent.

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The Momentum Proteas are ready to recover after a horrendous start to their Women’s T20 Tri-Series campaign against New Zealand and England in Somerset.

The South Africans suffered heavy defeats by 66 and 121 runs in their first ever double-header T20I fixtures, leaving a trail of broken records in their wake. Among them was the highest team total in women’s international T20s (216/1) set by the White Ferns, before it was promptly broken by the hosts in the second match of the day, when they blasted 250/3 at the end of their allotted overs, breaking the England men’s 230/8 record which they also, ironically set against South Africa in the 2016 men’s World T20.

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Vernon Philander needed just three overs to complete the double of 200 career Test wickets and 50 wickets against Australia before completing a quick-fire demolition with career-best figures of 6/21 on the final morning of the fourth Sunfoil Test match at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Tuesday.

The day’s play lasted little more than an hour as the Proteas achieved the huge winning margin of 492 runs, the biggest ever in South Africa’s history. It completed a 3-1 series win, giving the Proteas their first home Test series win over Australia.

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