The Castle Lager One-Day International (ODI) squad looked to make the most of the short turnaround time between formats in their 50-over tour match against Gloucestershire County Cricket Club in Bristol on Wednesday.
The match was the only opportunity to get the players up to speed with playing conditions and the required match intensity for the coming ODI series against England.
Wayne Parnell slotted in with ease, and starred with the bat and ball to lead the Proteas to a three-wicket victory. The Proteas chased the winning total of 261 with one over to spare, a collective effort from the line-up which excluded Graeme Smith, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy. Parnell scored a brisk 41 runs off 31 balls (three fours and two sixes), which pushed the Proteas over the line in the final overs.
Dean Elgar made good use of his first run in the green and gold, scoring 40 runs from 65 balls as an opener. The classy left-hander missed out on his maiden Proteas call-up because of injury last year, and looked a polished campaigner against the new ball before falling to a mistimed shot.
Albie Morkel was unable to field in the latter part of the Gloucestershire innings due to his recurring left ankle impingement injury, but contributed with 41 off 52 balls. Ryan McLaren gave an all-round performance in the match, scoring 38 runs and bagging three wickets.
"The Test players were given some time to recover and this was the opportune time for us to come out and get an intense outing out in the middle," McLaren said.
"It was nice to get on the park and put in a good performance, hopefully we can use the little bit of confidence that we got out of the game and take that on to the series."
The bowling attack was put under pressure by a well played century by Dan Housego, who scored 132 runs off 136 balls. His innings gave the home team a solid total and more importantly, gave the bowlers a clearer picture of the areas they need to work on.
The tour new-comers, McLaren and Parnell, bowled with disciplined skill and accuracy, and seemed to have benefited from the match intensity they had with the South Africa A side in Ireland. McLaren picked up three wickets for 29 runs, with Parnell taking two wickets for 40 runs. They both highlighted their performances with impressive death-over bowling.
The squad travels to Cardiff on Thursday, the venue for their series opening match against England on Friday.