Masakadza surprised by inconsistent Kimberley pitch

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Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza says he and his team were surprised at how the pitch played in Kimberley after suffering a five-wicket defeat against the Proteas in the first match of the ODI series on Sunday.

The visitors were sent in to bat by home captain JP Duminy and were bundled out for just 117 in 34.1 overs on a surface that had inconsistent bounce and made life difficult for batsmen of both teams.

The Proteas also struggled to adjust to the pitch as they reached their target in the 27th over but for the loss of five scalps.

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Masakadza had said at the toss that he was undecided as to what to do but that his batsmen just had to see off the new ball and things would get easier.

However it was not be as the visitors dealt with some deliveries that jumped from a length and kept low at times as the Proteas bowlers took full advantage of the conditions.

The Zimbabwe skipper said after the game: “We were a bit surprised by the pitch. We felt it would do a bit in the morning but it did more than that.

“The guys tried to knuckle down but couldn’t. Another 50-60 runs would have been better.

“The guys started really well with the ball, but the main thing is to get more runs on the board from here.”

Masakadza will hope for a better performance from his team in the second game of the three-match series which takes place in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.