Cricket: Fine tuning for Kirsten and Bacher

Sussex 277 South Africa 96-0 Match drawn
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Sussex 277 South Africa 96-0 Match drawn

SUSSEX and the South Africans did little more than go through the motions in the 43.3 overs which were possible in between the showers at Arundel. Sussex's last four wickets fell in 7.3 overs in the morning before Gary Kirsten and Adam Bacher had some useful batting practice.

The word is Hansie Cronje and his fellow Test selectors are thinking of asking Jacques Kallis to open with Kirsten in Thursday's second Test match, and to bring Brian McMillan in at No 3. McMillan has a remarkable Test record as an all-rounder, averaging almost 40 with the bat.

His own preference would be to bat at six where he has scored almost all of his Test runs, but he is a great competitor and would settle for any position as long as he gets a place in the side.

It is unlikely that Bacher who was Kirsten's partner for South Africa during the winter, will force his way into the side on the back of this innings even though he played well enough. He produced some lovely drives through the offside and clipped the ball neatly away through midwicket with a nice sense of timing.

Sussex's bowling on this slow pitch was hardly life threatening, however, and McMillan's all-round experience would be extremely useful to Cronje at Lord's. Probably the most meaningful cricket of the day was played in the lunch interval when Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Lance Klusener and Paul Adams had a good workout on a used pitch on the pavilion side of the square.

Whatever else Donald was, he was quick and his rhythm seems good. He and Pollock can only be all too mindful of what happened at Edgbaston when they wasted the conditions and even with their experience, they will approach Lord's with some misgivings.