Granted, it was only a warm-up match but the Proteas received a timely boost before the one-day series against Sri Lanka with a comfortable 63-run victory over a local Board XI in Colombo on Thursday.
While skipper Faf du Plessis spearheaded South Africa’s batting effort of 294 with a quickfire 71 off just 60 balls, it was the new faces in the squad that really put up their hands.
Experienced middle-order batter JP Duminy had mentioned earlier in the week that the Proteas were in high spirits following the Test series fiasco because most of the players involved in the ODI squad weren’t part of it.
He was proved correct.
Here were the stars.
The 20-year-old from the Highveld Lions prides himself on being a batting all-rounder – he wants to be a Jacques Kallis – but on Thursday he pretty much looked like a frontline batsman and bowler in equal measure.
Mulder resurrected South Africa during a mid-innings wobble with a coolly crafted 56 off just 57 balls, stroking eight boundaries in the process.
He then went on to take 3/12 in just 4.1 overs of seam bowling.
Most impressively, Mulder shot out two of the Board XI’s most dangerous, frontline batsmen – Dhananjaya de Silva and Dasun Shanaka.
Last season, Hendricks established himself as arguably the best limited overs opener in the country bar the national incumbents.
However, on Thursday he had to adapt to being a middle-order player, coming in at No 7 with the Proteas on a wobbly 125/5.
Hendricks did so with aplomb, crafting a fluent, 54-ball 59.
It must be said he did have 30 overs to bat.
The stocky Titans quick will be considered a key man of the South African attack given how it lacks experience and how his unorthodox, flailing and skiddy action could be useful on Sri Lanka’s pitches.
He didn’t start well with the new ball but came back well to claim 2/45 from 7 overs, in the process accounting for Isuru Udana, who top-scored for the Board XI with 53.
Dala showed ability with the bat in supporting Mulder at the death with a dogged, unbeaten 19.
Left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi showed what the Proteas missed in the second Test with a fine spell of 3/41, while David Miller got some time at the crease in making 40 off 47.
The ODI series starts on Sunday in Dambulla.