Cape Town - The South Africa under-19s will look to clinch their Youth One-Day series when they take on England in Northumberland on Thursday.
After going one-nil up in the three-match series with their 79-run victory on Monday, the visitors are quietly confident going into their second fixture.
“We had a very good start in the first game, but nothing (no series) has been won yet,” coach Lawrence Mahatlane said. “It’s important that the boys stick to our principles and continue to do the small things right. We’ve got a very important game here and I’m looking forward to giving more players an opportunity to come out and express themselves.”
While impressed with the manner in which his side won its first ODI fixture in Durham, Mahatlane is wary of the home side and believes they will come back fighting in order to keep their series hopes alive. He said it will therefore be important for his charges to up their performance from their first encounter.
“I’m sure England will bounce back harder,” the coach went on. “They’ve made a couple of changes to their squad, bringing in a couple of experienced players, so it will be interesting to see how we will go against them. I’ve been very happy with the way preparations have gone with our team. The players are keen to get back out there and put in an even better performance than the first game. We’re building towards a bigger goal and there are opportunities abound for guys to prove themselves, that’s why it’s important to give every player an opportunity to play and experience different conditions.”
Team captain, Wandile Makwetu is also pleased with the victory, but like his coach, believes there is always room for improvement.
“I’m very happy with how the first match went,” he commented. “From a batting front, a couple of guys will be disappointed with only getting a start and not really kicking on, but I’m sure they will look to correct that in the next game. We managed to bat our full 50 overs and managed to scrap for every run that we could and that was a positive sign that we are going in the right direction.
“The bowlers came in and hit the money from ball one,” Makwetu continued. “I think we made it difficult for them to bat, really uncomfortable and we kept on striking at regular intervals without letting them get away to a flyer. We’re going to have to find a way to produce that kind of performance again. I’m just really proud of the way the boys went about their business, every single individual can be proud of the contribution they made.
“We just want to keep going from strength to strength. We’re in a good position now where we’ve won our first ODI, but it was only the first one and we’ve got to look to wrap up the series well.”
The second Youth ODI will start at 12:00 (SA time).