SA U-19s outclass Sri Lanka
Brisbane - The South African bowlers had a spectacular day as they steamed in at the Sri Lankan batsmen with a take-no-prisoners attitude to set up a four-wicket victory in their final Group D match of the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup on Wednesday.
In the process they won their group and now move forward to the play-off stage.
Ruthless disregard for the opposition by Corné Dry, who narrowly missed getting his fifer, taking 4/16 in eight overs before he was hit by the ball on his shoulder, saw South Africa cripple the sub-continent side, who were saved from an embarrassing margin of defeat by their last two batsmen.
South Africa won the toss and fielded first at the Peter Burge Oval in Brisbane. Dry started his assault with the first ball, trapping Sebastian Perera for a royal duck to leave the Sri Lankan supporters in shock. The punishment continued when, five overs later, Solomzi Nqweni removed Pabasara Waduge for three. The bowlers kept it tight and offered no easy runs.
Sri Lanka were 98/9 at the end of the 25th over before Pulina Tharanga dominated a frustrating 52-run partnership for the final wicket to set South Africa a respectable score (150) to chase.
The South African innings started in similar fashion to their opponents. Poor communication between the openers saw Quinton de Kock run out for just five runs at the start of the fourth over and then they suffered the loss of Shaylen Pillay, who was caught for a duck by Sandun Weerakkody off Sanitha de Mel two balls later.
Chad Bowes and Theunis de Bruyn then rebuilt the innings and shared a 80-run partnership before the former was removed for 46. De Bruyn followed two balls later for 42 at the end of the 18th over.
Murray Coetzee (19), Diego Rosier (13) and Calvin Savage (16) did well to add vital runs while wickets continued to fall.
Coetzee hit the winning boundary to cement South Africa's place in the Super League playoff stage of the tournament with their four-wicket victory.
Head coach Ray Jennings said he was very happy with the team's efforts in the tournament so far. He is looking forward to seeing what his team can do in the next round of matches.
"The game against Sri Lanka was quite tough from our point of view but the guys have played some really good cricket. We've seen some really classy cricket of international standard. Moving into the next round of matches we're probably looking at England and Australia and it will be a good test to play quality non-sub-continent sides moving forward," he commented.
The South African team move to Townsville on Friday to begin their next challenge in the competition.