The North West Dragons beat SA U19 by 43 runs in their T20 Knock Out clash in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The victory keeps the Potchefstroom-based side in the hunt for a place in the quarter-finals with one round of pool matches to play.
After losing the toss and being asked to bat, the Dragons suffered an early setback with the losses of Wesley Marshal (0) and the explosive Eben Botha (21) before Shaylen Pillay and captain Senuran Muthusamy (32) steadied the ship.
The pair’s 52-run stand included a measured maiden T20 half-century from Pillay – who scored 60* off 49 balls – to take the Dragons to 88-3.
Despite the wickets in hand, SA U19 made it difficult for the Dragons to find the boundary, as Muthusamy and Lesego Senokwane (15) helped carry their side to a defendable total of 142-4 after 20 overs.
Joshua Stephenson (2-23) was the pick of the SA U19 bowlers.
SA U19’s chase failed to get the required rhythm, with wickets falling at regular intervals.
Fast bowler Eldred Hawken (3-18) removed three of the top-four batters to leave the youngsters reeling on 31-4, including the scalp of rising star Dewald Brevis (16).
There were contributions from captain George van Heerden (11), Asakhe Tsaka (18) and Valentine Kitme (29) but, with no substantial partnerships at the crease, their chase petered out on 99 all out.
Muthusamy coupled his display with the bat with an impressive return of 3-16 with the ball, picking up crucial wickets in the middle order to set his team up for a convincing victory.
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