S Africa 515-3dec & 56-1 Somerset 249: Morkel and Nel serve ominous reminder of tourists' potent pace
Tuesday 01 July 2008
If practice makes perfect then South Africa could not have had a more ideal start to their tour.
On the traditional batsman's paradise of the Taunton square where Jacques Kallis and Hashin Amla scored big hundreds on the first day of this three-day warm-up match, Morne Morkel and Andre Nel showed what can be done with a little application and a lot of speed.
Indeed, some of the Morkel missiles would have needed to have been replayed on Super Slo-Mo to be seen, so fast were they. He yorked Arul Suppiah, and then got James Hildreth to play on. He eventually also accounted for the stubborn Wes Durston, although not before the Somerset batsman had compiled a half-century.
Morkel took 3 for 64, Makhaya Ntini weighed in with a couple, and spinner Paul Harris mopped up the tail, to leave Somerset conceding a 266-run first innings lead. By the close that had been stretched to 322 with Neil McKenzie at last looking in some form.
But despite all the action in the middle there had been almost as much interest in the activities of South Africa physiotherapist Shane Jabaar, who had a full waiting room. Kallis was the major worry, and he is unlikely to play any further part in this match, but Jabaar insisted: "He will be ready to bowl in the warm-up game against Middlesex in Uxbridge." That starts at the end of this week.
The South African all-rounder was struck on his right elbow by Andy Caddick on Sunday and Jabaar revealed that there has been some nerve damage.
Then there is the captain, Graeme Smith, who has been recovering from a torn hamstring, but Jabaar expects Smith to play at Uxbridge, and he had a gentle work-out yesterday evening. Amla was also in the wars, suffering from a slight groin strain, but again there is nothing serious to worry about. It has been a satisfying two days for the Proteas.
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