SA U19s start World Cup the right way
The SA under 19s began their ICC U19 Cricket World Cup campaign on a positive note when they beat Bangladesh by an emphatic 133 runs on Sunday. The team played good cricket, thinking ahead and playing shots with the calm and skill of a professional side.
Head coach, Ray Jennings said: "It's good to get this tournament off with a good win, but obviously our main goal is to qualify for the knock-out phase. We played really good cricket today and hopefully we can take it through to the second game, the one after that and then ultimately to the final."
South Africa ticked the boxes in all three departments as they posted a daunting 294 runs after being asked to bat first by their sub-continent counterparts. Quinton De Kock and captain Chad Bowes got the game off to a constructive start, sharing a 48-run partnership before the latter was bowled by a ball from Naeem Islam for 18. De Kock kept the scoreboard ticking, hitting the ball in the right areas and rotating the strike with his partners before he was removed for 95 off 93 balls, including 9 fours and 2 sixes, just shy of what would have been a richly deserved century.
Theunis de Bruyn (63) and Murray Coetzee (29) contributed crucial runs that ensured the tally continued to mount before the innings was up. The Bangladesh bowlers found it difficult to contain the South Africans, but Noor Hosain and Nasum Ahmed showed gritty purpose as they claimed three wickets each and restricted South Africa from posting what looked a sure 300 runs.
The South African bowlers had a dream start when Corné Dry took the wickets of Soumyar Sakar (8) and Liton Das (11) in his first two overs. Vincent Moore, on debut, had a great start to his international career. He was the pick of the bowlers, returning figures of three for 44 in his 10 overs.
Shaylen Pillay took the match away from the Bangladeshis when they looked determined to keep fighting. He took two wickets for four runs in the 33rd over leaving the opposition limping with a wicket remaining and 142 runs needed to win.
In a show of impressive strategic thinking, Bowes brought in Prenalan Subrayen, who finished off the innings with the wicket of Nasum Ahmed (9) in the third ball of his over.
It is a case of "forward ever, ceasing never" for the Junior Proteas, as they now look to their next challenge, Namibia on Tuesday, at the Peter Burge Oval in Brisbane.
"We need to be careful not to find ourselves thinking that we'll find a particular game easy because of the team we will be facing. One bad decision by a player or the opposing side playing well could see us losing a match or the tournament. We need to make sure that every match we play, we play with good cricketing principles and win each game convincingly," Jennings concluded.