Faf du Plessis goes down the wicket to drive through the offside against Northamptonshire on Sunday. Photo: Paul Childs, Action Images via Reuters

NORTHAMPTON – Senior batsmen Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis both hit half-centuries as South Africa completed their preparations for a one-day international series against England with a narrow 13-run win over Northamptonshire at Wantage Road on Sunday.

Amla made 59 and Du Plessis 50, with David Miller’s 51 the other main contributor to a modest Proteas total of 275/7.

Northamptonshire then slumped to 215/8 before Tim Sole’s 54 gave them a chance of victory.

The hosts were nine wickets down and needing 27 off 24 balls when debutant Sole twice hoisted Andile Phehlukwayo over long-off for six.

Suddenly, Northamptonshire’s target was 14 off three overs, but experienced Proteas fast bowler Morné Morkel (2/32) ended the match by having Sole caught at third man off a short ball.

Earlier, South Africa slumped from 197/3 to 221/7 before JP Duminy and Chris Morris (3/36 with the ball) collected 31 from the last three overs to give the tourists’ attack a total they could defend.

Quinton de Kock fell for a seven-ball duck before the crowd were treated to a stand of 93 between Amla and Du Plessis.

Amla, often a thorn in England’s side, completed a 63-ball half-century before he holed out to long-on to give Sole his first wicket in senior professional cricket.

Hashim Amla heaves the ball through the leg-side against Northamptonshire. Photo: Paul Childs, Action Images via Reuters

Du Plessis, who struggled for fluency, was eventually caught at deep mid-wicket.

Miller struck Sole for two impressive sixes, but lost his middle stump to an Azharullah in-swinger.

South Africa face England in the first of three ODIs at Headingley on Wednesday, with both sides using the series as a warm-up for next month’s Champions Trophy tournament in England and Wales.


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