Cape Town — Dewald Brevis laid down an early marker that he wants to be part of the conversation when the Proteas’ one-day international World Cup squad is selected later this year.
Taking on a new middle-order role, the talented youngster blasted 98 not out off just 71 balls (6x4, 7x6) from No 7 to lead South Africa A to a comfortable four-wicket victory over their Sri Lankan counterparts in the first unofficial ODI in Pallekele on Sunday.
Brevis’ imposing innings carries even greater weight as he and fellow youngster Beyers Swanepoel were paired together with SA A in a spot of bother on 155/6 in pursuit of Sri Lanka’s 264/8.
The situation did not, however, deter the former SA Under-19 star as he and Swanepoel tore into the hosts’ attack from thereon. The pair added an unbroken 113 runs for the seventh wicket in just 11.1 overs at a rate of 10.18 runs to the over.
Swanepoel played a crucial role in the carnage as he stroked an undefeated 43 off just 28 deliveries (5x4, 1x6).
Proteas white-ball coach Rob Walter, who is on the tour of Sri Lanka as an assistant to Proteas Test coach Shukri Conrad, would certainly have been delighted with Brevis' output as he searches for a solution to the crucial No 7 all-rounder spot for the World Cup in India.
The fact that Brevis was also able to send down six overs of leg-spin for a decent return of 1/40 would also have counted in his favour. Conrad had stated prior to the Sri Lankan tour that he was hoping to develop some middle-order batting options that were able to contribute with the ball too.
Swanepoel had earlier claimed 1/46 from eight overs after sharing the new ball with Lizaad Williams (1/43).
Furthermore, Proteas capped seamer Lutho Sipamla claimed 3/33 to restrict the Sri Lankans. Captain Tony de Zorzi contributed 35 off 43 balls, while Keegan Petersen also set up the successful run-chase with a 39-ball 42.
The two teams will lock horns again today in the second of the three-match series, with the visitors looking to close it out ahead of the final match on Thursday.