Chennai: Australia A skipper Usman Khawaja on Wednesday hailed his bowlers for putting up a disciplined show under the hot and humid conditions here and post a convincing win over South Africa A in the first tri-series cricket match.
Australia A bowled out the opposition for 171 in 48.4 overs and then chased down the target with 19 overs to spare at the Chidambaram Stadium.
"Our bowlers were disciplined. The guys hit good line and length. Obviously with the Chennai weather it could be hard for the fast bowlers to stay put with their lengths. Fortunately, we had some fit boys. They are playing very well. They had come here training as hard as they can," said Khawaja at the post match press conference.
"South Africa got off to a good start but we got couple of wickets in between and just used that momentum to bowl them out for 171. Our spinners and pacers bowled very well during that period," he added.
The Aussie captain said that the South Africans did not play to their potential today.
"I must say that they did not play well today and we played well enough. We know that they do not play like that every game and you cannot expect us to bowl them out for 170 in every game. Honestly, their middle order did not play well.
"In reply, we fortunately bated well and achieved the total with a bonus point. You do not win like that every game. Even when we got in to bat, it was not easy early on as the ball was bouncing a little bit and it was tough to score. We just stayed positive and because of that we got few boundaries and put pressure on the bowlers," he said.
"Even the South Africans had started the same way. If their openers got another 40 runs or so, their middle order would have done better. That was the difference," Khawaja explained.
On whether the quality of his spinners proved to be the difference today, Khawaja said: "No, actually when their spinners came on we had already put our foot hold and the game was just about over anyway."
Top order batsman Joe Burns said playing the four-day games against India A prior to the tri-series has helped the team getting used to the conditions.
"We were lucky that we had the four-day games before the tri series. It helped us to experience the conditions here. We were learning. We started this tournament really well, coming from a win in the four-day series. Now, the team is going to get only better and we need to keep playing in top gear throughout the tri series.
Meanwhile, South Africa's Reeza Hendricks said the failure to build partnerships in the middle and end overs hurt his team.
"We had a good start and good partnership upfront. But we did not manage to build more partnerships in the later stage of our innings. But having said that, Australia really bowled well. They just ran away with the game when they batted."
On his batsmen, he said, "We had a good start but once the spinners came in, it became difficult to score runs and rotate the strike. It was unfortunate but we are going to bounce back coming Sunday."
Asked about the conditions, Hendricks said, "We have been here for few days and had few net practice sessions. Obviously it was different out in the middle. We did not adapt as well as we could have. Like I said going forward we can bounce back.