South Africa 360 for 7 (Klaasen 123, Phehlukwayo 67, van der Dussen 61) beat England Lions 253 (Eskinazi 79) by 107 runs
A century from Heinrich Klaasen was the highlight for South Africa as they warmed up for the first of three ODIs against England next week with a comprehensive 107-run win over England Lions at New Road.
Stephen Eskinazi’s second excellent knock in 48 hours and a fine all-round performance from Benny Howell proved in vain for the Lions who were eventually dismissed for 253 in 38.2 overs, chasing 361.
Eskinazi’s unbeaten 52 had helped the Lions chase down a 319 target when the two sides had met at Taunton on Tuesday, and he followed that up with a composed 79. Howell picked up three wickets and made an enterprising 40 off 33 balls, but the Lions found another demanding chase beyond them on a hybrid pitch.
South Africa opted to bat and the Lions new-ball attack of Sam Cook and David Payne provided a searching examination.
Cook made the first breakthrough when Janneman Malan inside-edged a catch through to keeper Ben Duckett and the initial powerplay yielded only 49 runs.
Lions pace bowler George Scrimshaw, returning to his former home ground, struck in his first over when Reeza Hendricks ballooned the ball off a leading edge to mid off.
Rassie van der Dussen showed plenty of enterprise in making 61 off 52 balls including a ramp shot for six off Scrimshaw.
But the entry into the attack of Howell brought three wickets in quick succession for the Gloucestershire all-rounder
He produced a superb reflex catch to account to dismiss Aiden Markram and held onto another return chance off a leading edge by van der Dussen.
David Miller then went for a big hit against Howell’s nagging accuracy and only found the hands of long-on to leave South Africa on 167 for 5 in the 30th over.
But then Klaasen (123) and Andile Phehlukwayo (67) produced rich entertainment for the 3,500 crowd with a partnership of 149 in 17 overs.
It was Cook who dismissed the pair in successive overs when he returned for the conclusion of the innings.
The Essex pace bowler broke the stand when Phehlukwayo perished at long on and then in the penultimate over Klaasen carved the ball straight to third man.
Howell finished with figures of 10-0-58-3 and Cook 10-1-56-3.
The Lions innings got off to a terrible start with two wickets falling in the opening over from Proteas captain, Keshav Maharaj, without a run on the board.
Will Smeed, who had top-scored with 90 at Taunton, was stumped and then Sam Hain pushed forward to an arm ball and was bowled.
Duckett again looked in good form after his 85 on Tuesday and twice collected two boundaries in an over off Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje. There were 10 boundaries in his 44 before he went lbw to Tabraiz Shamsi.
Eskinazi had a let-off on 34 against Maharaz when dropped at long-off but he went onto complete a 49-ball half century with four boundaries.
Wickets continued to tumble and captain Tom Abell was caught behind attempting a reverse sweep off Tabraiz Shamsi while Adam Hose drilled Phehlukwayo to mid-wicket.
Howell struck the same bowler for successives sixes but he and Eskinazi then departed to end the Lions slim hopes.
Eskinazi made room for a big hit against Anrich Nortje and edged through to the keeper and Howell was picked up at deep backward square to give Shamsi another scalp.
There was some late resistance from Payne (40) who dominated an eighth wicket stand of 54 with Jake Lintott before Ngidi returned bowl him.
Paul Collingwood, appointed Lions Head Coach for the two-match series, said: “We put South Africa under a lot of pressure at times. Klaasen had a lot of power at the back end of the innings and got them up to competitive total, but I cannot fault the lads. The one thing I said to them is ‘don’t judge yourselves on results’ but let’s have a look at how we go about our cricket and the approach we have.”
Klaasen said: “Hopefully I can keep riding the wave because I am quite happy with where I am at this moment and the way I’ve been striking the ball and I’m in a good mental space. The hard work is paying off and it’s all about doing the right things.”