Boks entertain in cricket festival

Willem Alberts, Bob Skinstad, Victor Matfield and Franco van der Merwe impressed during the Springboks' 20-over match against the Proteas at Newlands.

Friday's fixture was arranged as part of the 'Festival of Cricket' following the cancellation of the New Year Test against India. As you would expect, it was played in good spirit and the result (the Proteas won by 14 runs) mattered little.

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers was ruled out of the game with a stomach bug, which saw Matfield lead the team and Skinstad, the manager, come in as a player. The Boks also had one non-rugby player, Proteas bowler Rory Kleinveldt, in their line-up.

The Boks were allowed 12 batsmen and given some leeway when it came to bowling wides, both outside off-stump and down the leg side. Bowlers from both sides came off a short run-up, although it didn't prevent Lonwabo Tsotsobe sending down a couple bouncers.

The Boks' bowling was quite good, with Alberts taking two wickets in two balls – Quinton de Kock being caught by Willie le Roux for eight and Henry Davids by Frans Steyn.

Jacques Kallis made 39 before hitting a full toss from Duane Vermeulen to Skinstad, who took an excellent boundary catch.

JP Duminy came in with the score at 62-3 and took it to 99 before being caught by Fabian Juries off Steyn's bowling. But some big hitting from Faf du Plessis (77* off 42 balls) and David Miller (40* off 22) took the Proteas to 188-4.

In response, the Boks lost Tiaan Liebenberg (3) and Juries (9) cheaply, before Matfield and Van der Merwe had a 41-run partnership, with Van der Merwe hitting two successive sixes off Aaron Phangiso.

Matfield, though, was dismissed for a run-a-ball 23 and he was followed shortly after by Van der Merwe (28 off 14).

Kallis got rid of Butch James (4) and Steyn (1) before Le Roux came in and hit 16 off eight balls and Alberts 10 off nine.

At the other end, Skinstad top scored for his side with 34 off 22 balls, hitting four fours and two sixes before falling to Ryan McLaren.

The Boks were 'all out' for 160 but their extra batsman helped them reach 174.

Full scorecard

Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

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