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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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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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