De Kock steers SA to winning position
Quinton De Kock scored a rapid 80 runs from 65 balls to get the South Africa under 19s into the driving seat of their first warm-up match of the ICC U19 World Cup against New Zealand on Tuesday.
South Africa, who won the toss and chose to field first at the WEP Harris Oval at the University of Queensland, won the match by six wickets.
It was a slow start for the South Africans, but they managed to break the first-wicket partnership in the 11th over after Prenelan Subrayen caught Ben Horne (11) off the bowling of Vincent Moore.
This seemed to open the door to more wicket-taking opportunities as the middle order fell in quick succession.
The Kiwis posted 184 runs for the loss of eight wickets with Moore, Subrayen and Corné Dry the pick of the bowlers with two wickets each.
Something the bowlers will have to look at is the number of extras given away during the course of the match.
South Africa conceded 36 extras (five byes, six leg byes and most alarming of all, 25 wides) - more than the runs scored by the top-scoring Kiwi batsman, Henry Walsh, who made 33 from 38 balls.
The team redeemed themselves, however, when they went to the crease.
De Kock punished bad balls and turned the good to his advantage as he and partner, Chad Bowes (36 from 55 balls) produced a 127-run opening stand in 20 overs at 6.35 runs per over to put New Zealand on the back foot. They retired out to give their teammates an opportunity to bat.
The Kiwis found it difficult to stem the run flow, with Theo van Woerkom their only wicket-taker of the match, managing 2-40 in 4.2 overs.
South Africa easily chased down the required runs and won the match with 124 balls to spare.
Bowes was pleased with the win but at the same time aware that the team still have a few kinks to work through.
“We had a relatively good game, mostly because we won, but we know there's still a long way to go. We'll have to play a more disciplined game if we want to beat Bangladesh tomorrow,” he said.
South Africa will face a confident Bangladesh side that also comes off a convincing victory. They beat Scotland by seven wickets in just over 20 overs to give them the boost they needed going into their match against South Africa on Wednesday.