Cape Town - A career-best five-for by Thando Ntini was not enough for
the South Africa Emerging team as they suffered a four-wicket loss to their Sri
Lanka counterparts in the opening match of the One-Day triangular series in
Pretoria on Saturday.
The right-arm paceman nabbed five for 46 in nine overs, but
it could not prevent the tourists from cantering to a 187-run victory target
with more than 11 overs to spare.
It was a disappointing loss for a strongly-assembled home
side, who struggled to a limp 185 all out in 46 overs after losing the toss and
being put into bat first.
This despite a strong opening stand of 71 between top-scorer
Tony de Zorzi and Matthew Breetzke that came from 14 overs. The latter scored
27, while the former went on to strike 58 off 79 balls (7 fours).
Both fell during a rocky spell in which four quicks went
down - leaving the South Africans on 115 for four.
But Jason Smith (33) and Wandile Makwetu (25) rebuilt well
to take their side to 161 for four with still more than 10 overs to go.
Amila Aponso (3/22) and Asitha Fernando (3/33), though,
rocked the lower order as the last six wickets fell for only 24, the home side
failing to bat out the final overs in a poor finish.
Ntini’s brilliance then saw him demolish the Sri Lankan top
order and leave them on 43 for five after only 10 overs.
However, an unbeaten 76 off 78 balls (12 fours) by Ashen
Bandara as well as 60 off 104 (8 fours, 1 six) from Shammu Ashan secured a
The pair put on 132 for the sixth wicket, sucking the life
out of South Africa and leading their side to a superb win.
The SA Emerging team play University Sports South Africa
(USSA) in match two on Sunday.
SA Emerging squad:
Tony de Zorzi (Titans), Janneman Malan (Cape Cobras), Raynard van Tonder
(Knights), Matthew Breetzke (Warriors), Wandile Makwetu (Knights),
Sinethemba Qeshile (Warriors), Sibonelo Makhanya (Dolphins),
Eathan Bosch (Dolphins), Tshepang Dithole (Highveld Lions),
Tladi Bokako (Cape Cobras), Nandre Burger (Cape Cobras), Kyle Simmonds (Cape Cobras), Lutho
Sipamla (Warriors), Bjorn Fortuin (Highveld Lions), Jason Smith (Cape Cobras), Dayyaan Galiem (Titans), Thando Ntini