TELFORD VICE, Cape Town
THE lights were on and Quinton de Kock was home – even though he was facing the pink ball for the first time and in Adelaide, where his fine century led a solid SA batting effort in their day/night tour match against a Cricket Australia XI.
De Kock scored 122 out of SA’s total of 415 despite having to bat in daylight, in the twilight zone before the artificial lighting established its dominance, and after dark.
“I actually thought it was quite nice batting during the twilight period,” De Kock told reporters.
“Early on it was about getting used to it, and I found that a little bit more difficult.
“But I think that’s part of any white-ball, red-ball cricket anyway – the first couple of balls.
“So when I started getting used to it and started getting in it was much easier.”
De Kock’s approach to surviving and prospering against cricket’s newest innovation was impressively colourblind.
“To me there’s no difference,” he said. “I’m not one to over-think it – a ball’s a ball and I just play the way I should be playing in that situation.
“You could see everything, nothing was different … from the normal four-day game at that time of the day.”
De Kock’s innings ended when he retired – not so much because he had had his fill but because he is suffering from a viral infection and is ill enough to have been ruled out of keeping wicket on Sunday.
Dane Vilas, who will be the reserve wicketkeeper in the squad, is at Newlands playing a first-class match for the Cobras against the Warriors.
That means SA’s ’keeper on Sunday will be Harry Nielsen, a member of the South Australia under-23 squad.
Hashim Amla scored a seamless 51 before retiring and JP Duminy looked in promising form for his 97.
The home side’s inexperienced attack was one factor in the ease with which SA adapted to the unusual conditions.
Then there was the fact that the grass on the pitch was only 6 mm long compared to the 8 mm sported at the same venue for the inaugural day/night test in November – when Australia beat New Zealand inside three days in a match that lasted for only 251.2 of the scheduled 450 overs.
But the visitors’ batsmen all looked comfortable at the crease and will be satisfied that they passed the pink test.