Cook leads South Africa ‘A’ to strong start


South Africa 'A' made a strong start to day one of the first four-day 'Test' against Zimbabwe A by reaching 271/3 at stumps in Harare on Saturday.

There were three half-centurions for the tourists as captain Stephen Cook top-scored with a patient 78 (150 balls, 6 fours), Theunis de Bruyn struck an attacking 52 (60 balls, 10 fours) and Stiaan van Zyl recorded an unbeaten 69 (175 balls, 5 fours).

Van Zyl's Cape Cobras team-mate, Omphile Ramela, was with him at the close, not out on 39 as the pair shared an unbroken 89-run fourth wicket stand.

SA A had earlier won the toss and chosen to bat first at the Harare Sports Club, with skipper Cook and Van Zyl among six players with Test experience in the starting XI.

Proteas players Dane Vilas, Dane Piedt, Hardus Viljoen and Vernon Philander were also chosen, the latter playing his first match in national colours since picking up an ankle injury last November.