Matthew Breetzke’s sparkling century was at least one positive the South African U19s could latch on to after being beaten by England U19 by eight wickets.
In the final ‘league’ match of the triangular tournament, played under lights at Potchefstroom on Thursday night, Breetzke had no support after his opening partner, Jiveshen Pillay, had departed for 41. They had put on 96 for the first wicket and South Africa were looking good for a challenging score.
But 14 from captain Raymond van Tonder was the next best offering, until Hermann Rolfes came in at No 7, to help Breetzke put on 64 for the sixth wicket, at which point Breetzke fell for 101, off 105 balls (6×4, 1×6). Rolfes went on to 34 as South Africa struggled to 249. That was a total boosted by Thando Ntini (10*), Akhona Mnyaka (9 off 12) and Kgaodise Molefe (8* off 2), who added 24 runs off 15 balls.
Two hundred-run partnerships between Tom Banton (74 off 80 balls) and Liam Banks (37 off 61) for the first wicket and between Harry Brook (63* off 53) and Will Jacks (71* off 53) for the third, ensured the visitors’ success with more than eight overs to spare.
With both teams having beaten Namibia, they remain the top two and will meet in the ‘final’ at Potchefstroom on Sunday, again under lights.
‘We haven’t played to our potential but I still think we’re a good enough side,’ said Van Tonder. ‘We just need to get everything together and right on Sunday, our batting, bowling and fielding are going to have to be at their best so we can bounce back from the last two losses against England.
‘We’re very disappointed losing. Firstly, we didn’t have enough runs on the board and as we went to bowl, we spoke about setting the tone up front with the ball and with our fielding, but we really didn’t field well. I don’t think we played well enough’.
Photo: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images