• ‘We have to learn from this’

    South Africa U19 coach Lawrence Mahatlane says it’s important for the players to learn and grow after they were knocked out of the running of the U19 World Cup in Bangladesh.

    South Africa have lost their first two matches of the group stage, meaning they won’t progress into the play-offs to try and defend the title they won in 2014.

    Last Wednesday’s defeat against Bangladesh was followed up with a shock two-wicket loss to Namibia on Sunday. They have one group match left against Scotland on Tuesday before taking part in the Plate Championship of the tournament from 4-12 February.

    South Africa’s captain, Tony de Zorzi is bitterly disappointed with the side’s performance in the World Cup.

    ‘We’ve let the country down in a massive way in not making it out of even the group stage. The top order failed us completely, we were quite lucky to get to 130-odd and although we bowled quite well to try and restrict them, defending that kind of score on a flat deck was never going to be easy, we just couldn’t win.

    ‘In hindsight, had we known that we would have been in that situation we would have done things differently with the toss, but I think if the boys are honest enough with themselves, a couple of loose shots and shots that weren’t needed at the time really let us down and I think if we took responsibility for the innings we would have probably put a better total up. The best thing we can do now is finish in the highest position we can and bring back a semblance of pride for our country, more than that, we can’t do.’

    Mahatlane shared his captain’s disappointment, but said Namibia deserved to win the game.

    ‘At 60-8 we were always in trouble and they showed good disciplines with the ball at the top of the innings,’ he said. ‘We just didn’t apply ourselves well enough with the bat. We did well to get to 136, but it proved not to be enough in the end. We’ve let ourselves down in simple batting disciplines. It’s important that we bounce back and the players need to show the class that they have. We just haven’t batted well enough and the results show that.

    ‘As a team we are preparing for tomorrow’s game. What is important for us is to ensure that our lessons keep growing. You learn more from losses I feel than from victories and it’s important that those lessons learned are implemented. As a team and a squad we are hurting. We are very disappointed in our performance, but we’ve had to pick ourselves up.

    ‘The batting group had a chat and with the exception of one player the rest of us felt that we let ourselves down in terms of our disciplines and for me I look at my job and I see it as just making sure that the young men grow. I’d like to see that growth in the next four games. I’d like to see that maturity and consistency,’ Mahatlane said.

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