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The South African Emerging squad under the direction of coach Corrie van Zyl and captain Vaughn van Jaarsveld will return home with a whole host of positives in spite of losing the final of their quadrangular tournament in Australia by 17 runs to India at Brisbane on Saturday.
It was the only defeat they suffered in nine matches. They won six 50 overs encounters against their Indian, Australian and New Zealand counterparts as well as two Pro20 fixtures - and maintained a proud South African record of having reached the final in three of the four tournaments since its inception in 2006.
The Emerging Players' tournament has become the most important feeder for the Proteas and players who have cut their teeth in it include Imraan Khan, JP Duminy, Justin Ontong, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Johan Botha, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell and Lonwabo Tsotsobe of the current national squad.
What was particularly pleasing was that South Africa was represented by a far less experienced squad than India had at their disposal.
Four of the Indian players - Virat Kohli, Subramaniam Badrinath, Abhishek Nayar and Amit Mishra - have represented their country at full international level while most of the others had played in the IPL and also had substantial first-class experience.
Peter Fulton, captain of New Zealand, is also an experienced international cricketer.
The only current internationals in the South African side were Van Jaarsveld and Lonwabo Tsotsobe while most of the batsmen such as Rilee Rossouw, Stiaan van Zyl and Dean Elgar have very limited first-class experience.
Heino Kuhn and Ferhaan Behardien both scored centuries in the tournament with Behardien's 105 off 60 balls against Australia being one of the innings of the competition.
A significant feature of the batting was the success of the team in successfully chasing down big targets of 315 against Australia and 275 against India.
The outstanding bowling performance came from CJ de Villiers who took 5/15 as Australia lost seven wickets in seven overs to be routed for 44 all out and give the South Africans a massive victory by 171 runs. - Sapa