• Mahatlane mystified by U19 struggles

    South Africa U19 coach Lawrence Mahatlane says he doesn’t know why his team have struggled so badly at the U19 World Cup in Bangladesh.

    South Africa, who were champions in 2014, failed to progress out of the group stage after losing their first two games against Bangladesh and Namibia respectively. They won their last group match against Scotland and went into the Plate Championship of the tournament.

    South Africa beat Ireland by eight wickets in the Plate Championship quarter-final play-off but suffered an embarrassing eight-wicket defeat to Zimbabwe after they were bowled out for 91.

    ‘We really can’t put our finger on… our batting has really let us down again,’ Mahatlane said. ‘Zimbabwe bowled well with the new ball. They put us under pressure but our batting was just not good enough. Personally I’m very disappointed at the display of our batting at this tournament, we’ve had good moments, but the boys just haven’t…just didn’t put it together.’

    Despite the poor results Mahatlane still believes in the talent of the players at his disposal.

    ‘We’ve got a group of very talented boys. A couple of bad weeks in their careers shouldn’t taint their career path and I think they would have learned a lot from here and will understand how the game works. It’s important for them to keep growing and go out there and win the last game, because they are very good players.

    ‘Unfortunately our application over this last couple of weeks has just not been good enough.’

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