South Africa ‘A’ four-day captain Aiden Markram admits there is plenty of relief within their camp after finally winning a match on their tour to England on Sunday.
The tourists beat county side Hampshire by 251 runs midway through the final day of their first warm-up match in Southampton.
The South Africans endured a difficult one-day leg of the trip, which saw three of their five matches washed out as they went down 2-0 to the England Lions in their three-match series. The preparation for the longer format have now started much better and it has left everyone happier before their second warm-up game later in the week.
“I suppose everyone is pretty relieved to get the first win,” Markram said. “Fortunately there hasn’t been a lot of tension amongst the group of players, which helped us just get the job done.
“Hopefully we can take the winning momentum into this week against Sussex.”
Both of the away sides’ 50-over preparation games against Yorkshire and Derbyshire were washed out heading into the one-day series with the Lions, leaving them undercooked.
Markram admits it lead to a tough beginning.
“The first part of the tour was a little bit difficult,” the young opener said. “As South Africans we obviously fight tooth and nail to win and having lost that series did hurt us a touch.”
Markram, 22, is also experiencing his first leadership opportunity for the ‘A’ side and he admits it has gone well so far.
The Titans batsman is heading the four-day leg of the trip, which continues with a final practise game at Arundel starting on Wednesday, and culminates with a one-off, four-day match against the Lions from June 21-24.
“Captaincy has been really enjoyable thus far,” Markram added. “The guys make it easy for myself to express my thoughts. There’s also plenty of experience amongst a few of us younger guys, which is helping myself a lot as a captain.”
South Africa ‘A’ squad for four-day series against England Lions: Heino Kuhn (Titans), Aiden Markram- captain (Titans), Theunis de Bruyn (Knights), Temba Bavuma (Highveld Lions), Khaya Zondo (Dolphins), Jason Smith (Cape Cobras), Heinrich Klaasen – wk (Titans), Wiaan Mulder (Highveld Lions), Rudi Second (Knights), Dane Piedt (Cape Cobras), Dane Paterson (Cape Cobras), Duanne Olivier (Knights), Junior Dala (Titans), Beuran Hendricks (Cape Cobras).