PE’s brass band to welcome Proteas

Usually it’s the band who has to travel to have their music heard.

But today, the famed brass ensemble at St George’s Park will have a full house to play to thanks to the fact that the Proteas are in town.

The one day series against England has moved on to Port Elizabeth for the second of five fixtures with the tourists holding the early advantage after their 39-run win in the rain-affected opener earlier in the week.

While the run-fest in Bloemfontein put scrutiny on South Africa’s bowling attack sans the injured Dale Steyn there was plenty to be positive about when it came to the batting lineup as they chipped away, helped by an unbeaten 138 from Quinton de Kock, at the 400 required.

“We haven’t been a side that’s been on the receiving end of 400 too many times but somehow we managed to stay with the game. With a strong batting lineup I thought we were in a good position to chase the score down but possibly losing one wicket too many,” Faf du Plessis, who added a half-century of his own, said yesterday.

“We’ll take a lot of confidence from a batting side of things that we were with the rate the whole innings but pretty disappointed that we went 1-0 down and the pressure is on us to try make a play. 2-0 down is a lot harder to come back from.

“If I could sum up the game for you in my personal point of view I would say we were pretty disappointed with how we bowled and fielded,” he added.

But the attack may be boosted by the return of Kyle Abbott after his recent injury troubles and his experience may be vital on a wicket that requires some guile.

“It’s a big boost. It’s something we’ve missed a lot this whole series is experience. We’re trying to get experience on the field. He brings a bit of consistency, he’s someone who has bowled well with the white ball for us. With someone like that when pressure situations present themselves he’ll be a little more equipped,” Du Plessis said.

“Our skills with the ball have to improve in order for us to try put England under pressure and to try win the series.”

But the top-order batsman is of the opinion that the series will be dominated by the men with the willow.

“I think this will be a series of the batting lineups. Both bowling lineups aren’t as experienced as they’d like to be but the batting lineups are explosive and have match winners in both teams. We need to try stop their batters and the same will apply for them.”

Getting back to level pegging is of paramount importance for the Proteas and perhaps the charm of Port Elizabeth will play a part.

“It’s the closest thing we get to the Barmy Army is the band here. For us it’s a fantastic place to play. It’s certainly one of our favourite grounds as a team.”

Let’s hope the band belts out a happy tune.

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