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Monday, Feb 19th

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Cricket

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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South African Invitation XI beat Zimbabwe by 5 wickets

South African Invitation XI overcame a strong Zimbabwe rearguard action on the final day of the three-day tour match at Eurolux Boland Park on Friday to claim a well-deserved five-wicket victory.

Ryan Burl (51 off 138 balls, 6 fours) and Chamu Chibhabha (55 off 110 balls, 5 fours and a six) were largely responsible for the Zimbabwe fightback as they shared an eighth wicket partnership of 97 that was easily their side’s highest of the match.

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South Africa vs Zimbabwe: Test Preview

Proteas batsman, AB de Villiers, says he is geared up for the unique challenges the pink ball will pose in the historic four-day day-night Test match against Zimbabwe starting in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, December 26th. The Proteas held their first session under lights with the pink ball on Friday evening, with the St George’s Park conditions providing plenty of nip and spice for the bowlers.

The 33-year-old says he is ‘excited’ to make a return to the Test fold after nearly two years, and hopes to make a meaningful contribution on and off the field as one of the senior players in the squad. He has recovered from the stiff lower back that kept him out of the three-day warm-up match against Zimbabwe earlier this week, and is fit and eager to take on the uncharted pink ball challenge.

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Masakadza’s fifty saves Zimbabwe’s blushes in warm-up game

Hamilton Masakadza spared Zimbabwe’s blushes on Wednesday with a well-crafted fifty as the tourists struggled to cope with unfamiliar settings on the opening day of their three-day warm-up match against the South Africa Invitation XI at Boland Park in Paarl.

Playing under lights and using the pink ball for the first time, Zimbabwe folded for 196, with Masakadza’s knock of 79 – which came off 181 deliveries and included nine boundaries and a single maximum – being the only noteworthy performance of the innings.

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Rance replaces injured Milne in New Zealand squad

Seth Rance has been brought into the BLACKCAPS squad to replace Adam Milne, who has been ruled out with a foot injury. Milne felt discomfort in his left foot while landing to bowl and has been ruled out of the remainder of the G.J Gardner Homes ODI and Twenty20 series against West Indies. He will continue to be evaulated.

“Adam has a great work ethic and puts a lot into his fitness, so I certainly feel for him with this injury,” said BLACKCAPS Selector Gavin Larsen. “It’s a long summer and there’s a lot of cricket left for Adam to play, so we’ll work with him to get him back to full fitness.

“Seth comes into the squad off the back of consistently strong domestic performances. We were already looking at Seth for the upcoming Twenty20 series, so this just brings him into the squad slightly earlier than anticipated.

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