Kallis struggles with back injury ahead of ODIs

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South Africa all-rounder, Jacques Kallis, was withdrawn from the tour match against a Sri Lanka Cricket Board President's XI in Moratuwa on Thursday, after complaining of stiffness in his back during warm-up drills.

South Africa all-rounder, Jacques Kallis, was withdrawn from the tour match against a Sri Lanka Cricket Board President's XI in Moratuwa on Thursday, after complaining of stiffness in his back during warm-up drills.

While the Proteas easily won the game, the plan was to play all 15-squad members, but Kallis could not feature. The 39-year-old was hoping to impress and gain a place in the World Cup squad next year.

Proteas team manager, Dr. Mohammed Moosajee, explained: "This morning he felt some discomfort in the upper right back region and was withdrawn from the match today as a precaution.

"Our physio, Brandon Jackson, treated him for most of the day and we will monitor him overnight to see how he responds to the treatment. If he doesn't respond to therapy we will plan to get a scan done tomorrow.

"We are quite hopeful that some of the stiffness will settle down overnight."

Hashim Amla's 79-ball century laid the platform for South Africa's 108-run win. The match turned out to be a productive outing for the squad, with most of the batsmen and bowlers gaining important match practice in hot and humid conditions.

"It was nice to pick up some batting time," Amla said after the match. "Most of us (batsmen) that got in managed to spend some time at the crease. That is what warm-up games are about."

AB de Villiers (41), Faf du Plessis (41) and JP Duminy (54) were the other top-scorers, with the lower order also contributing with worthy knocks.

"Personally it's nice to get some runs ahead of the series," Amla said. "The thinking ahead of the game was to try and get a few runs, retire out, then get the other batsmen in. After I reached my 50 I figured it was a good time to lift the scoring rate."

Morne Morkel extracted pace and bounce from the lively wicket, and was the top wicket-taker with figures of 3/29 in seven overs. The rest of the pace attack was equally impressive, with Dale Steyn (1/24), Vernon Philander (1/20), Ryan McLaren (1/33) and Wayne Parnell (2/15) making solid contributions.

Apart from Aaron Phangiso (2/9), the Proteas' spin trio were bare in the wickets column, but bowled good lengths and variation in pace-friendly conditions.

The squad has two more training sessions to fine-tune their processes ahead of the first ODI against Sri Lanka on Sunday.

"From a team perspective time on our legs was important," Amla said. "A lot of the players who were involved in the IPL have been out for a month or so, it was good for them to get back into fielding for the whole day.

"Our 50 overs, along with the training sessions in the heat, are important in helping us acclimatise."

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