Proteas beaten by Zimbabwe

The Proteas’ disappointing nine wicket loss to Zimbabwe in the Final of the Tri-Series at the Harare Sports Clubs on Sunday has been processed with mixed emotions by Proteas captain, Hashim Amla.

The loss was the climax of a week of experimentation coupled with inconsistent performances, a clear indication of the work that is needed ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in September.

“I can’t quite but my finger on it (reason for poor performances), but I think it’s a combination of early season rustiness coming through but at the same token we have to acknowledge that Zimbabwe played really well. Their batters hit good form and struck the ball really well, they played better than us,” Amla said after the Final.

The Proteas were unable to put in the performances when it mattered, but certain players raised their profiles for selection, with only three matches to play until the showpiece in Sri Lanka. Faf du Plessis showed off his all-round capabilities; Wayne Parnell proved that he can perform under the pressure, with Richard Levi showing that he is more than a one-hit-wonder.

A key area for improvement is in the bowling department, where inconsistency was exploited.

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“The whole purpose of the tour was to have a look at the guys who are at the next tier.”

“Some guys performed really well. Lopsy bowled a few good spells up front in a couple of the games; Parney struggled but came back strong; Morris bowled well and Faf (du Plessis) bowled his full quota really well,” Amla said about the inconsistency from the bowlers.

“I think the selectors will have a sense of who they think can fulfil the roles underneath Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel and in that sense there is a lot to take out of this tour and in many ways maybe it is mission accomplished.”

The tour has been a wake-up call and a learning experience, which will give the selectors and players alike, an indication of where improvement is needed.