Gibbs and Kruger star

The Cricket Australia Chairman’s XI might not have been the strongest or most committed opposition South Africa could have faced in an Australian tour match, but a comfortable victory nevertheless represented an improved performance from an innings loss to Western Australia earlier in the week.

The Chairman’s XI was in fact a 12 man team, with 11 to bat and field, and included two retired first class cricketers in Tim Zoehrer and Bruce Reid, as well as a selection of current Western Australia representatives, led by Justin Langer. Graeme Smith won the toss and inserted the Chairman’s XI to bat, and a good bowling display led by uncapped squad member Garnett Kruger restricted the locals to 9/192 from their 46 overs.

Kruger’s four wickets included Justin Langer, and Adam Voges, who was fresh off a century against South Africa in the tour game at the WACA. Shaun Pollock was also typically economical and managed a pair of wickets, while Andre Nel and Makhaya Ntini recieved valuable time with the ball, but had average returns.

Set 193 to win and facing a 42 year old Reid with the new ball, the South Africans were never going to be seriously pushed, and lost only two wickets on their way to the target. Matthew Inness picked up both openers early on, before an unbroken 151 run stand between Rudolph and Gibbs took the tourists to the target with more than 10 overs to spare. Gibbs was particularly aggressive, striking an unbeaten 91, as Justin Langer employed 9 different bowlers and the game became more of a show for the crowd than a serious warm-up for a test series against the world’s best.

Still, Graeme Smith and his side will take something from the encounter, as his batsmen appeared woefully out of form against Western Australia, and half centuries to two key top order batsmen is a good sign. South Africa have one final hit out against Western Australia, before the first test begins at the WACA in a week’s time.

Cricket Australia Chairman’s XI – 9/192 (46)
Marcus North 41 (63), Adam Voges 34 (53)
Garnett Kruger 4/33 (8), Shaun Pollock 2/22 (7)

South Africans – 2/193 (35.2)
Herschelle Gibbs 91* (86), Jacques Rudolph 59* (62)
Matthew Inness 2/47 (8)

South Africans win by 8 wickets.

Cricket Web Player of the Match
Herschelle Gibbs – 91*

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