'SA ‘A’ suffered from complacency'
South Africa ‘A’ secured a 1-0 series win against Sri Lanka ‘A’ when the second four-day unofficial test ended in a draw on Monday and SA ‘A’ coach Vinnie Barnes declared himself pleased with the series result but that his team had suffered from complacency in the second match.
SA ‘A’ won the first match convincingly by an innings and eight runs but the second match was a far tighter affair as Sri Lanka posted 336 and 302 for five in their two innings while the hosts battled to 290 in their first innings, after being 208 for eight, and 130 for two in their second innings.
SA ‘A’ were hamstrung a touch during that match in that all-rounder Ryan McLaren did not bowl during the visitors' second innings after picking up a side strain while seamer Pumelela Matshikwe bowled in the tourists' second innings despite battling with a hip flexor injury.
“We were on the back foot because we didn’t bat well in the first innings. We were a bit complacent,” Barnes told reporters after the match.
“The point I made to the players was that after a big performance another big performance has to follow because that will make people sit up and notice but that didn’t happen and I was quite disappointed in that,” he added.
Despite not winning the second match Barnes said that there a number of positives for the hosts after the short series
“We have ticked most of the boxes. There are some players that have put in big performances. I would have hoped for a bit more consistency but it was good to see Rory Kleinveldt (in the first match) and Ryan (McLaren) bowl really well and good to see Wayne Parnell take responsibility in the second innings (of the second match) and I thought he bowled well then as the only fit seamer.
“We have done what we set out to achieve,” he added.
SA ‘A’ have a full schedule ahead of them and they depart on Wednesday to take part in a tri-series in Zimbabwe against the hosts' ‘A’ team and Sri Lanka ‘A’. SA ‘A’ will then tour Ireland.
Barnes said that all of his, and his team’s, energies would be focused on performing well in Zimbabwe as a good performance from a player could catapult them into reckoning for the Proteas.
“The one-day players have joined us and they have been working hard for the past three days. There is not a lot of turn-around time because we leave on Wednesday and we play on Friday but the focus is good and there is also the bigger picture.
“If anything (injuries) happens with the South Africa squad in England there will be opportunities for some of these players. I have to make sure that they are fit and ready,” he said.
However, he explained that he would not allow the players to become distracted by hopes of higher honours.
“It (SA ‘A’ team) is about opportunities for players but you don’t want to lose sight of winning as a team because that is part of the stepping up as well,” he concluded.