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Wednesday, Feb 20th

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Cricket

Chris Morris added to Proteas Test squad

All-rounder, Chris Morris, has been added to the Standard Bank Proteas squad for the first Sunfoil Test match against India starting at PPC Newlands on January 5th. Morris has recovered from a groin injury and replaces fast bowler, Duanne Olivier, in the 15-man squad. This selected squad is only for the first match of the 2018 Freedom Series.

The Proteas will assemble in Cape Town on January 2nd to begin preparations for the first Test of the three-match series.

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De Villiers gives pink ball experience thumbs-up

Proteas stand-in captain, AB de Villiers, has given the four-day pink ball experience the thumbs-up despite the one-sided innings and 120-run victory against Zimbabwe at St George’s Park on Tuesday. De Villiers says the novel idea brings in a fast-paced dynamic compared to the traditional five-day approach, and teams can learn to adapt to the varying conditions that affect the match throughout the day.

“I think it was quite nice,” he said of the experience. “ I found the batsmen were a little bit more positive. There were talks of declaring earlier than normal, I spoke to Gibbo (Gibson) last night and we started talking about declarations a lot earlier than normal. It encourages a lot more positive cricket, I enjoy that. I still enjoy five-day cricket but there is definitely an excitement to day-night Test cricket for four-days. It is positive, there is a lot happening, we all enjoyed it as well as the spectators.

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Pollard, Beaton replaced in Windies T20 squad

The Selection Panel of Cricket West Indies announced changes to the Windies squad for the three-match T20 International series on the tour of New Zealand. These changes are due to injury and unavailability.

Left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cotterell will replace pacer Ronsford Beaton, who has been forced to return home with a side strain. Left-handed batsman Shimron Hetmyer will replace allrounder Kieron Pollard, who is unavailable due to personal reasons.

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Markram century and Morkel's new ball burst put Proteas in charge

The twilight and night time batting conditions proved to be too much for the batsmen on both sides as 13 wickets fell – 9 of them in the final session – on the opening day of the one-off Sunfoil Test match between the Standard Bank Proteas and Zimbabwe at St. George’s Park on Wednesday.

The Proteas scored 96/2 in the first session and 155 in the second before a collapse set in that saw them finish on 309/9 before stand-in captain AB de Villiers made the obvious tactical decision to declare and by the close the visitors were on the ropes at 30/4 from 16 overs with Morne Morkel having taken 3/20 in 7 overs and Vernon Philander 1/5 in six.

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Du Plessis to miss Zimbabwe Test; De Villiers to captain

Proteas captain, Faf du Plessis, has been ruled out of the day-night Sunfoil Test match against Zimbabwe starting at St George’s Park on Tuesday. Du Plessis developed a viral infection this week, which delayed his return to full fitness following lower back and shoulder injuries.

AB de Villiers has been appointed as the stand-in captain for the one-off match.

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Star sons hoping to shine at ICC Under-19 World Cup

Past U19 Cricket World Cups have seen quite a few sons of international cricketers in action and this time is going to be no different with Austin Waugh and Thando Ntini among those looking to display their potential in a tournament that showcases future stars every two years.

Austin Waugh, the son of former Australia captain Steve Waugh, first burst into public consciousness when he hit an unbeaten 122 in the final of the Under-17 National Championships in 2016 while Makhaya Ntini’s son Thando Ntini grabbed four for 56 on his debut for the South Africa U19 team against the Windies earlier this year.

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Maketa a trump card for Proteas in Port Elizabeth Test

Proteas will rely on the vast local knowledge of assistant coach, Malibongwe Maketa, as they prepare for the day-night Sunfoil Test match against Zimbabwe starting at St George’s Park on Tuesday. Maketa, who has been involved at the Eastern Cape franchise since 2013 until his recent appointment to the national team, says he is fortunate to be able to provide key insight into the expected conditions for the inaugural day-night fixture.

“It has been a blessing for me that my first game involved is at my home ground,” he said in Port Elizabeth on Sunday. “ At least I will get to share some of my experiences with the guys on how to go about getting a result at this ground. In saying that, a lot of the players have played a few Test matches at the ground so they have good knowledge of what is expected. With it being a pink ball Test we are venturing into the unknown, we are looking forward to building a database on how to go about playing pink ball Tests.”

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