Liam Smith slammed the brakes on a slide against Bangladesh to help South Africa’s Under 19s win the third ODI by seven wickets in Pietermaritzburg.
He struck a superb unbeaten 89 off 113 balls as the budding Proteas overran the Bangladesh offering of 165 all out, four balls short of the innings. South Africa replied with 166-3 off 37.5 overs.
Bangladesh now lead the series 2-1. The victory brought to an end a run of six wins in a row for the Bangladeshis. They won the last four matches in a 6-1 series win in their home country and seamlessly continued the trend in South Africa with their spinners wreaking havoc.
Smith, a King Edward VII old boy who in January was playing U17 cricket, was not on the overseas tour. He was called into the under 19 side for this series, when he made just three runs from two innings.
This time, he took the attack to the spinners, hitting 13 fours and six off 113 balls to take the game away.
South Africa needed a good response, because they did themselves no favours by allowing Bangladesh to put on 42 for the last wicket, offering a challenging target of 165.
Earlier, South Africa had seemed to be in complete control, reducing the tourists to 66-5 after they won the toss and chose to field. A stand of 42 by Zakir Hasan and Mohammad Saifuddin stabilised the innings, but it did take up 13 overs to do it.
Dean Foxcroft’s offbreak accounted for three batsmen, while there were two apiece for Conor McKerr and Wiaan Mulder.
South Africa were also not helped by conceding 31 extras, of which 20 came from wides and five from no-balls.
Nonetheless, the result will bring confidence to the team in the hope that they can better it in the remaining four matches.