Cricket 12.10.2017 06:21 pm

AB and JP get time in the middle but it’s the rookies that star

Aiden Markram and Matthew Breetzke: a future Proteas opening pair? Photo: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images.

Aiden Markram and Matthew Breetzke: a future Proteas opening pair? Photo: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images.

Aiden Markam and teenager Matthew Breetzke steal the show in a SA Invitation XI’s easy win over Bangladesh.

JP Duminy and AB de Villiers duly got to spend some time at the crease but it was once again Aiden Markram that stole the show as a South Africa Invitation XI beat Bangladesh by six wickets in a 50-over warm-up match in Bloemfontein.

After an initially slow start in a chase of 256, the 23-year-old Proteas Test opener raced to an excellent 68-ball 82.

He hit eight fours and a six, building on the fine impression he made in the recent Test series, where he scored 97 and 143.

The really exciting thing about his innings though was that it formed part of a first wicket partnership of 147 with the 18-year-old Matthew Breetzke.

Like Markram, the teenager from Port Elizabeth is a star in the making and was by far the national Under-19 side’s best player in a series against the West Indies in July.

Breetzke scored two centuries and a fifty in that series.

It’s perfectly conceivable that these two men could be South Africa’s openers in future.

Breetzke dealt in boundaries at the start before he was content to let Markram take over the attacking role.

He eventually ended with a classy 71 off 100 deliveries.

By the time the pair were dismissed, the Invitation side was alreay on its way to victory.

But Duminy spent more than an hour in the middle in making his 34 off 42.

De Villiers was a bit more fluent as he hit a six in his 50-ball 43 before both were dismissed the part-time spin of Mahmudullah (2/13).

Earlier, Bangladesh’s influential all-rounder Shakib Al-Hasan showed how badly he was missed in the Test series after being given a break.

The left-hander made a run-a-ball 68 to lead the visitors to 255 after some early trouble but his left-arm spinners looked rusty.

A varied attack of Rob Frylinck, Aaron Phangiso, Mbulelo Budaza and Malusi Siboto all took two wickets each.

The one-day series starts on Sunday in Kimberley.

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