South Africa A coach Shukri Conrad has offered an honest assessment of the struggles they have encountered during their tour to England thus far.
The tourists suffered heavy defeats in their only two completed games, losing by nine wickets and 144 runs, as they lost their three-match unofficial One-Day International series 2-0 to the England Lions.
Their two warm-up matches against Yorkshire and Derbyshire prior to the series were both washed out meaning the South Africans had little preparation time and it clearly told.
“It’s been a strange one-day series because it’s been so short,” Conrad said. “We obviously didn’t play particularly well, and not that I want to offer any excuses, but having both of our warm-up matches rained off didn’t help.
“Especially from a bowling perspective, when nobody had actually had a bowl out in the middle. I would like to have seen us have a few runs in terms of the practise games and get a bit sharper in terms of executing our skills, particularly in these conditions.”
On the other hand, the hosts looked fully prepared with their strong team, which boasted the likes of internationals like Steven Finn and Liam Dawson, looking at ease.
“After our build-up, then you run into an England Lions side that’s very high on confidence,” Conrad explained. “They play a really attacking brand of cricket and we were found wanting so full marks to them.
“It has certainly given us a few things more to consider, to ponder and to look at the way we play, both at this level and possibly even domestically.”
South Africa A, whose last match of the series was washed out on Monday, are now preparing to take on the Lions in a one-off, four-day match starting on June 21.
They have two warm-up games ahead of that clash, starting with an encounter against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton starting on Thursday.
“Hopefully we can prepare well without any interruptions due to rain,” Conrad added. “We have a new fresh faces that have come in and we’re all looking forward to the next part of the tour.
“At least with the four-day matches, it gives you a bit more time to get back into games. Whatever’s happened so far is all a learning curve for a lot of these guys and hopefully those learnings take place sooner rather than later.”
South Africa A squad for four-day series against England Lions: Heino Kuhn (Multiply Titans), Aiden Markram- captain (Multiply Titans), Theunis de Bruyn (VKB Knights), Temba Bavuma (bizhub Highveld Lions), Khaya Zondo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Jason Smith (Cape Cobras), Heinrich Klaasen – wk (Multiply Titans), Wiaan Mulder (bizhub Highveld Lions), Rudi Second (VKB Knights), Dane Piedt (Cape Cobras), Lungisani Ngidi (Multiply Titans), Dane Paterson (Cape Cobras), Duanne Olivier (VKB Knights), Junior Dala (Multiply Titans), Beuran Hendricks (Cape Cobras).
South Africa A tour to UK itinerary
8-11 June 4-day v Hampshire Ageas Bowl, Southampton
14-17 June 4-day v Sussex Arundel (v Duke of Norfolk XI if Sussex RL play-offs)
21-24 June A Test v Lions The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, Canterbury
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