South Africa downs WI U-19

West Indies Under-19 fell to a 31 run defeat against hosts South Africa Under-19 in their opening match of the 2024 ICC Under 19 World Cup at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom. 

South Africa U-19s were sent into bat first and posted 285-9 in their allotted 50 overs. West Indies U-19s couldn’t quite get over the line, ending on 254 all out in 40.1 overs owed mostly to a well constructed 130 by wicketkeeper batsman Jewel Andrew. The 539 runs scored was the highest match aggregate involving these two sides. 

West Indies U-19 captain Stephan Pascal won the toss and chose to field first on a hard wicket conducive to stroke play. Pascal wouldn’t have to wait too long for the decision to bear fruit, as medium fast bowler Deshawn James grabbed the early wicket of Steve Stolk. The right hander from Pretoria mistimed a slog up into the air which landed in the skipper’s safe hands. At the other end opener Lhuan-Dre Pretorius took charge in the early stages, with a number of boundaries including the tournament’s first six against Nathan Sealy. The Barbadian would have the last word in the following over when he bowled Pretorius (40) through the gate with a beauty that gripped off the surface. 

The hosts fell from 60-2 after 10.2 overs to 145-6 in 34.5 overs with some disciplined bowling and ill fated stroke making. Those factors combined to bring middle order batsmen Dewan Marais and captain Juan James together with the aim of salvaging the innings. However they did a little more than that. By the time Marais was dismissed on 65 with just five balls remaining in the innings, he had put on a 131 run partnership with James (47) for the seventh wicket-their highest ever at Under-19 level to leave the score 276-7. Nathan Edward picked up one more wicket in the final over, dismissing Riley Norton for just two runs while James was run out coming back for a second run after a great throw from Joshua Dorne at deep midwicket.

In reply, the Boys in Maroon found batting against the young Proteas spearhead challenging. Earmarked before the tournament as one to watch by keen observers of South African cricket, left arm pacer Kwena Maphaka cleaned up the top order in the first 12 balls of his spell, leaving the regional side 17-3 after three overs. Much like their senior side, West Indies continued to counter punch which was exemplified by Jordan Johnson’s boundary laden 21 from 19 balls. However, he eventually fell to Riley Norton after going for one shot too many against the right arm fast bowler. At the end of the first powerplay, West Indies were ahead of the run rate, going at the healthy pace of 7.3 an over but it came at the cost of  five wickets.

Jewel Andrew and Nathan Sealy made their intentions clear by going for their shots, ensuring that West Indies moved ahead at a brisk pace. In the next 15 overs, the duo added nearly 100 runs to keep their side in the game. There was a late twist in the tale though as just when it looked like the two had done enough to take the game away from South Africa, Sealy was run out from the deep by a direct hit at the score of 190 to add intrigue to the contest. 

Andrew, now the last recognised batsman, kept going with assistance from Tarrique and Nathan Edward but he was running out of capable partners. With the last throw of the dice, James brought strike bowler Maphaka back and he struck twice late on to seal the match and get his five wicket haul, becoming the first U-19 South African to take two five wicket hauls.

Summarised Scores

Game 1

South Africa Under-19 285-9 in 50 overs (Dewan Marais 65, Juan James 47; Nathan Sealy 3-34, Deshawn James 2-38)

West Indies Under-19 254 all out in 40.1 overs (Jewel Andrew 130, Nathan Sealy 33; Kwena Maphaka 5-38, Riley Norton 3-66)

South Africa Under-19 won by 31 runs.

Game 2

USA U-19s 105 all out in 40.2 overs (Khush Bhalala 22*; Reuben Wilson 3-23, Oliver Riley 3-21)

Ireland Under-19s 109-3 in 22.5 overs (Ryan Hunter 50*, Philippus le Roux 23*; Arya Garg 2-31)

Ireland Under-19 won by seven wickets.

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