BRISBANE: South Africa has issued a warning to both Australia and Sri Lanka that it deserves respect in the tri-series one-day competition, using power-hitter Justin Kemp to deliver the message.
Australian all-rounder James Hopes said on Monday that Kemp had lived up to his billing as the new Lance Klusener.
South Africa delivered a stinging-blow to Australia's pride at the Brisbane Cricket Ground on Sunday when it drew first blood in the battle between the world's two best one-day sides.
Its five-wicket win came courtesy of a mixture of judicious and, when needed, flamboyant batting. Kemp delivered the latter, stamping himself as a batsman in the same mould as Australia's Andrew Symonds and England's Kevin Pietersen.
The 28-year-old hit one of the biggest sixes ever seen at the Brisbane Cricket Ground when he belted a straight drive off Brett Lee high into the stands on Sunday.
It was a pivotal blow as he and Mark Boucher scored 17 off Lee's over, the 46th, to springboard the Proteas to their first win over Australia on their current tour with seven balls to spare.
Hopes said it was a warning to both Australia and Sri Lanka. ''He can hit the ball a long way and he can play big shots,'' he said.
Kemp will return to the ground and try to replicate his heroics with the bat on Tuesday when South Africa plays Sri Lanka in a day-night match.
The all-rounder, who isn't bowling at present due to a shoulder injury, was labelled the new Klusener after a wonderful series of one-day matches in 2005.
After coming to prominence with 57 off 36 balls, 80 off 50, 53 off 21 against England and Zimbabwe, Kemp also hit 73 off 64 and 30 off 21 for wins over New Zealand. However, he doesn't want to be compared to the former lower-order South African batsman, who often caused grief to Australian sides in the late 1990s.
''It's an honour to be spoken in the same breath as Lance,'' he said. ''But I don't want to be the next Lance Klusener, I want to be the first Justin Kemp. I want to play my natural game."
''I'm in a good place at the moment. I'm confident of my ability and I believe I can make a difference.''
Sri Lankan coach Tom Moody said his team would take a far more attacking batting approach in the wake of the 116-run loss to Australia on Friday when No. 3 batsman Michael Vandort scored a painstaking 48 off 117 balls to waste any chance of victory.
''It wasn't a tactic and ... it's something we've reviewed and we won't be going down that track again,'' he said.
The Brisbane wicket is again expected to be bouncy and suit pace bowling but South Africa remains wary of spin-king Muttiah Muralitharan.
South African seamer Charl Langeveldt remains in doubt for the match with a groin strain and the Proteas have indicated they might send him home if he doesn't improve by Friday, when they play Australia in Melbourne.
The teams: Sri Lanka (from): Marvan Atapattu (captain), Upul Tharanga, Jehan Mubarak, Mahela Jayawardene, Russel Arnold, Tilakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Chaminda Vaas, Nuwan Kulasekera, Dilhara Fernando, Muttiah Muralitharan, Farveez Maharoof.
South Africa (from): Graeme Smith (captain), Boeta Dippenaar, Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, Jacques Rudolph, Ashwell Prince, Justin Kemp, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock, Andrew Hall, Garnett Kruger, Monde Zondeki. - AFP