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Proteas test out lower order in Derby draw

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South Africa’s bowlers were given a workout with bat and ball as the tour match with Derbyshire meandered to a tame draw.

Lonwabo Tsotsobe led the way with 4-45 as Derbyshire were reduced to 174 for nine before declaring 191 behind.

Ross Whiteley, with 51 not out, was the only home batsman to offer any real resistance.

That gave South Africa the opportunity to give their lower-order some batting practice ahead of the third Investec Test at Lord’s, which starts on Thursday.

Vernon Philander

Vernon Philander helped himself to 68 not out after South Africa had opted to give their lower order some batting practice at Derby

They initially struggled as Mark Footitt claimed four wickets, but recovered to reach 168 for seven declared, thanks largely to Vernon Philander’s unbeaten 68.

The Proteas needed only two overs to break through on another sunny morning as Usman Khawaja got an inside edge to Philander and gave wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile the second of five victims.

Morne Morkel had skipper Wayne Madsen caught behind down the leg side three overs later and Dan Redfern could only edge Tsotsobe into the safe hands of Graeme Smith at first slip.

Tsotsobe was generating pace and movement and he took two more wickets in three balls when Jonathan Clare and Tom Poynton, a second-day addition to the Derbyshire team, both edged into the gloves of Tsolekile.

Another catch by Smith gave Tsotsobe his fourth victim and South Africa will have taken encouragement from the performance of Imran Tahir, who seemed to have solved the no-ball problems he experienced at Headingley Carnegie.

Tahir had gone for 21 in his first three overs on the previous evening but the next six cost only 14 and earned him two wickets, one to an outstanding catch by Smith who seemed to grab the edge from Alex Hughes as it went past him.

Former Derbyshire spinner Robin Peterson came in for some rough treatment from Whiteley, who drove him for three sixes in a 62-ball fifty that also contained six fours.

The home side then declared at lunch before capitalising on South Africa’s decision to utilise an unusual batting order.

Francois du Plessis was bowled offering no shot to Footitt, who went on to have Peterson brilliantly caught at gully before snaring Morne Morkel and Tahir for ducks.

Albie Morkel top-edged a pull at Clare to midwicket and Tsolekile’s 22-over vigil ended when he was cleaned up by Tim Groenewald, the 16th player to feature for Derbyshire.

It was therefore left to Philander to contribute the only sizeable score. After being hit in the box by Whiteley he brought up his half-century from 67 balls and added 74 with Dale Steyn before the two teams shook hands.

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