JP Duminy tried hard to explain away South Africa’s flaccid performance in their World Cup warm-up match against New Zealand at Hagley Oval in Christchurch yesterday.
Then, in paying the opposition a compliment, he undermined his own argument.
“We are not too fazed about the result,” Duminy said after New Zealand hammered South Africa’s attack all over for a total of 331-8 and dismissed AB de Villiers’s men for 197 in 44.2 overs, to win by 134 runs.
“It is about time in the middle and overs under the belt. I bowled a few overs.
“Faf [du Plessis] bowled a few. Everybody got a bit out of it. We are not too fazed.
“It’s nice to take wins away, but we are happy with where we are,” Duminy said.
“The guys will put in some good work over the next three days. Come Sunday, [when SA play their first World Cup pool match against Zimbabwe in Hamilton] we’ll be ready to go.
“You want to take the positives and leave it at that. We don’t want to read too much into this result.”
Told of Zimbabwe’s sevenwicket win over Sri Lanka in another warm-up game in Lincoln yesterday, Duminy said: “It will be a big confidence booster for them, but I wouldn’t read too much into it.
“Match intensity compared to warm-up intensity is a big difference.”
But asked what he thought of the performance of the Black Caps, Duminy said: “They have always been street smart.
“They’re definitely going to contend for the quarterfinal and semifinal spots.
“They came out firing on all cylinders. The intensity was there.”
That seemed as if the Proteas recognised their opponents’ intensity as a reason for their success – but they did not spot the problem in failing to show that quality themselves.
Warm-up matches do not count for much. But intensity does, always.