TELFORD VICE, Cape Town
SA’S fast bowlers came to the pink party in their day/night match against a Cricket Australia XI at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Kyle Abbott and Morne Morkel all took two wickets each as SA dismissed the home side for 103 in 30.4 overs.
Steyn led the way with 2/9 from six overs.
Then SA, who totalled 415 in their first innings, rattled up 181/5 before the match was declared drawn 45 minutes ahead of the scheduled close to allow the visitors time to practice on their own.
“It seems to nip around when the lights come on, not so much during the day,” Abbott told reporters after his first experience of bowling with the pink ball – which will be in use when Australia and SA play the third and potentially deciding day/night test in Adelaide next month.
“But there’s a bit of grass on this wicket so there has been assistance if you hit the deck hard and get it in the right areas.”
“It’s not a huge amount of swing, just more nip off the surface.”
Abbott was happy with the 6mm covering of grass on Adelaide’s pitch.
“I don’t think we’ve seen this much grass on a pitch for seven years,” he said.
“It would be nice (to see more grass more often) and it would be even better if it changed colour to a tinge of green.
“But I think it’s just to keep the ball in nick, and even after 15 overs (the cover) started to peel – even on this, so it will be interesting to see how it holds up in the test match.
“And if they do leave a bit of grass on and with the lush outfield it should stay in shape and shiny for much longer.”
Spells were kept short as SA’s bowlers tried to share the ball while it retained its newness, and just more than an hour into the CA XI’s innings they had crashed to 39/7.
The home side would have been skittled for far fewer runs had their captain, Matthew Short, not stood firm for 57 – his team’s only double-figure effort.
Harry Nielsen, the South Australia under-23 wicketkeeper who was press-ganged into service for SA because a viral infection kept Quinton de Kock off the field, took four catches.
Rilee Rossouw retired after hammering nine fours and three sixes in his 77 in SA’s second innings.
JP Duminy, who scored 97 in a first innings that featured De Kock’s 122 and Hashim Amla’s 51, was 32 not out at stumps.