The competitive start of the World Cup can’t come soon enough for the Castle Lager Proteas judging by their off-colour performance in their final warm-up match against New Zealand at Christchurch on Wednesday.
The hosts won by a massive 134 runs after compiling an impressive 331/8 in their 50 overs and then running through the Proteas top order who were 62/6 midway through the 14th over.
Trent Boult, who finished with 5/51, did most of the damage before JP Duminy (80 off 98 balls, 8 fours) and Vernon Philander (57 off 84 balls, 4 fours) brought some respectability to proceedings with a seventh wicket stand of 121.
Their final total of 197 was still a poor effort, particularly the fact that they did not even bat until the end of the 45th over.
The New Zealand innings was a consistent one in which virtually every player plus extras reached double figures without anybody going on to play a big innings. There were, in fact, only two half-centuries from Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson.
Philander, Kyle Abbott and Wayne Parnell took two wickets each.
The Proteas rested Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn while AB de Villiers returned to lead the side. Farhaan Behardien was not able to bat or bowl because of a back injury.