Chennai: Done in food poisoning which left 10 of their players in hospital, it would take a miracle for South Africa A to turn things around and upstage the in-form Australia A in the fifth match of the one-day cricket Tri-Series on Tuesday. (Ten South African Players Hospitalised)
The Proteas were in dire straits in Sunday’s game against India A, in which they had to pull in the services of rival player Mandeep Singh after falling short of men to complete the XI while fielding.
In fact, South Africa A’s video analyst Hendrikus Coertzen also had to be pressed into action due to shortage of players. (Agar Takes Five as Australia A Beat India A)
By evening, 10 South African team members, including star batsman Quinton de Kock, were in hospital recovering from food poisoning and exhaustion caused by the Chennai heat. The situation forced them to request the Indians to play their match on Monday while the Proteas game was rescheduled for Tuesday.
In contrast, Australia A, led by Usman Khawaja, had started their campaign with an easy nine-wicket win over South Africa and then defeated India A by 119 runs.
Their top order has been on song with Queensland opening batsman Joe Burns and captain Khawaja stitching some solid partnerships in both the matches, forming a bulwark against the new ball.
Australia A’s bowling attack, headed by James Pattinson, have also looked in total control in both the matches so far with Gurinder Sandhu and Adam Zampa also picking up four wickets each against India A.
The Aussies have not only earned two wins but also bonus points to tally 10 from two matches.
South Africa, on the other hand, were totally exposed by the Aussies in their first encounter after being dismissed for 171 with opener Rezze Hendricks making 43. Their bowling also cut a sorry figure as Australia A achieved the target in 31 overs losing just one wicket.
The Proteas put up a better batting display against India A as Q de Kock (108) hit a century and Dane Vilas (50) scored a fifty and skipper Dean Elgar will hope his team put up a better performance against Australia A tomorrow.
The biggest concern for the South Africans right now would be to put together a playing XI given the medical crisis which the team finds itself in.