It's good-Morne for SA in warm-up | cricket | Hindustan Times
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It's good-Morne for SA in warm-up

South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel showed he has learnt from his experience on Indian wickets and will be a handful during the World Cup as his team thrashed Zimbabwe by eight wickets in a warm-up match on Saturday.

cricket Updated: Feb 12, 2011 23:42 IST
Nikhilesh Bhattacharya

South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel showed he has learnt from his experience on Indian wickets and will be a handful during the World Cup as his team thrashed Zimbabwe by eight wickets in a warm-up match on Saturday.

Leg-spinner Imran Tahir, turning out in South Africa colours for the first time, also did enough to suggest he would not be overawed on the biggest stage. Morkel did not get the new ball. Instead came in first change after left-arm pacer Lonwabo Tsotsobe was injured in the fifth over and bowled a hostile spell on a wicket described by South Africa captain Graeme Smith as "dead".

"I was standing at first slip and even on a dead wicket Morkel was hitting us (wicketkeeper AB de Villiers and Smith) quite hard," he said.

The tallest of the South Africa pacers, Morkel gave batsmen no width and almost nothing to drive -- something he had been unable to do during last year's India tour. Tsotsobe was injured when he slipped at fine-leg.

Tahir was introduced after 13 overs. For the first couple of overs, including one in the bowling Powerplay, he seemed too eager to create an impact, rushing through his overs the way part-timers do. "He is an excitable character," Smith said.

Tahir and Morkel finished with three wickets each.

Defending 152, Zimbabwe opened with off-spinner Prosper Utseya partnering pacer Chris Mpofu with left-arm spinner ray Price introduced in the eighth over. "The spinners are our best bowlers and opening with them has been our strategy for the past one year or so," Zimbabwe head coach Alan Butcher said. "I will be surprised if more teams are not seen doing it by the end of the tournament."

Brief scores: Zimbabwe 152 (Taylor 40, Morkel 3-16, Tahir 3-35) beat SA 153/2 (Amla 45, Smith 41)