x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Knee injury to paceman Lonwabo Tsotsobe worries Proteas

South Africa receive an injury scare in the team's eight-wicket victory over Zimbabwe as teams begin warming up for the cricket World Cup.

Ajantha Mendis, right, bowled Sri Lanka to a 156-run victory over the Netherlands yesterday. Ishara S Kodikara / AFP
Ajantha Mendis, right, bowled Sri Lanka to a 156-run victory over the Netherlands yesterday. Ishara S Kodikara / AFP

South Africa received an injury scare as pace bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe strained his right knee during the team's eight-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in yesterday's warm-up match for the cricket World Cup.

Tsotsobe sent down a couple of overs without success before falling awkwardly while trying to stop a boundary and was writhing in pain barely a week before the tournament gets underway.

Surrounded by worried teammates, Tsotsobe received medical attention before eventually hobbling off the ground.

"That area of the outfield was wet and he flexed his knee and suffered a mild strain," Mohammed Moosajee, the team manager, said yesterday.

He said Tsotsobe was assessed by the physiotherapist yesterday and would be examined again today, "and we'll take a call from there".

South Africa kick off their Group B campaign against West Indies in Delhi on February 24.

Graeme Smith and his men, however, can draw some positives from the match as they embark on putting behind them World Cup heartbreaks, including semi-final exits in 1992, 1999 and 2007 and a shock quarter-final loss to the West Indies in 1996.

After Zimbabwe had decided to bat first, Smith employed eight bowlers, including his three frontline spinners who shared six wickets.

Imran Tahir, the uncapped Pakistan-born leg-spinner with streaked hair, claimed three for 35 in 8.5 overs, removing Prosper Utseya and Shingirai Masakadza off successive deliveries to hasten Zimbabwe's collapse for 152 in the 42nd over.

The batting mainstay Jacques Kallis, who the team had decided not to rush to action so that he can recover fully from a side strain, also spent quality time in the middle, hitting three sixes in his unbeaten 49-run knock as South Africa chased down the target with 26.3 overs to spare.

In other warm-up matches, Shakib al Hasan, the Bangladesh captain, took three wickets for five runs as his team cruised to a nine-wicket victory over World Cup minnows Canada.

Shakib was helped by fellow spinner Mahmudullah, who struck twice in consecutive balls, as Canada were reduced to just 112. The tournament co-hosts reached the target in only 19.2 overs.

"It was an OK game for us, but we have lots of things to improve on," said Tamim Iqbal, the Bangladesh opener who hit three sixes and seven fours before he was bowled by Rizwan Cheema for 69.

"Before the 19th [of February when they open the tournament against India in Dhaka] we will be ready to fire."

Bangladesh have never made it as far as the semi-finals, but are coming into the competition after series victories against New Zealand and Zimbabwe.

Brief scores of warm-up games:

Zimbabwe 152 in 41.5 overs (B Taylor 40, S Williams 35; M Morkel 3-16, I Tahir 3-35, R Peterson 2-21) lost to South Africa 153-2 in 23.3 overs (H Amla 45, G Smith 41, J Kallis 49)

Sri Lanka 351-5 in 50 overs (T Dilshan 78, T Samaraweera 60, C Silva 54, C Kapugedera 50 not out) beat Netherlands 195 in 47.3 overs (T de Grooth 76, D Fernando 4-43) by 156 runs.

West Indies 253-8 in 50 overs (R Sarwan 123, Dwayne Bravo 54) beat Kenya 192 in 45.3 overs (C Obuya 68, A Russell 4-43) by 61 runs.

Bangladesh 113-1 in 19.2 overs (Tamim Iqbal 69) beat Canada 112 all out in 37.3 overs (S. Al Hasan 3-5) by nine wickets.

New Zealand 311-6 in 50 overs (M Guptill 130, J Ryder 48, J Franklin 49) beat Ireland 279 in 48.2 overs (W Porterfield 72, P Stirling 39, E Joyce 41) by 32 runs.