It’s been almost two years since Wayne Parnell swapped the Eastern Cape for the Mother City.
But on Saturday the mercurial left-arm quick reminded everyone of his cricketing upbringing in Port Elizabeth by producing an encouraging spell in the first ODI between the Proteas and Sri Lanka.
Parnell shone with the new ball in taking figures of 3/48 and contributed greatly to South Africa’s victory by eight wickets.
It was a far cry from the frazzled bowler that got smacked to all parts in the T20 series.
The 27-year-old made full use of the assistance on offer early in the innings on a slow pitch and was superbly assisted by Imran Tahir as Sri Lanka were shot out for 181.
Parnell struck with his first delivery when he trapped the dangerous Nilushan Dickwella – the Man-of-the-Series in the T20s – plumb in front.
Shortly afterwards, he had debutant Sandun Weerakkody caught in the slip cordon.
Those strikes meant the Sri Lankan middle-order were kept on a tight leash, allowing Tahir to flourish once again.
The veteran leg-spinner gained drift and turn as he took the key wickets of Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal (22) after the pair added 72 for the third wicket.
Mendis, considered one of Sri Lanka’s brightest batting prospects, finally showed a glimpse of his ability with a gritty 62 but he simply had no support.
Tahir snapped up the experienced Upul Tharanga as well to finish with splendid figures of 3/26.
Having broken the back of Sri Lanka’s batting, South Africa had the luxury of giving a few other bowlers some confidence as well.
Andile Phehlukwayo bowled a steady spell after his struggles in the T20s, while Chris Morris – returning after an injury layoff – took 2/29 in a sprightly spell.
The Proteas’ chase was a straightforward one.
They were initially patient in assessing a slow pitch before flourishing.
Hashim Amla continued his return to form – following the century in his 100th Test – with an elegant 57.
He had some difficulty outside off-stump early on before settling down.
Faf du Plessis also had no problems dealing with a mediocre opposition attack, stroking an unbeaten 55 and combining well with AB de Villiers (30*), who was afforded some valuable time at the crease.