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Monday, Oct 22nd

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Test Cricket

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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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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