Wandile Makwetu’s 99 set up the SA U19s’ 76-run World Cup victory over the West Indies, amid a rules storm.
It was poetic justice as he hammered 12 fours and a six off 99 balls to help build a total of 282-8 after Proteas opener Jiveshen Pillay had been dismissed for ‘obstructing the field’ in what many called a poor display of sportsmanship by the West Indians.
Pillay was on 47 and in full cry with South Africa on 77-2 in the 17th over, when he blocked a delivery. The ball rolled back and stopped near the stumps, whereupon Pillay picked it up and threw it to the keeper, Emmanuel Stewart, who appealed for obstruction. After a long discussion, the on-field umpires went upstairs and Pillay was ruled ‘out’.
— Rudi (@RudiEdsall) January 17, 2018
Rule 37.4 of the Rules of Cricket states: ‘Either batsman is out ‘obstructing the field’ if, at any time while the ball is in play and, without the consent of a fielder, he/she uses the bat or any part of his/her person to return the ball to any fielder.’
The Windies found themselves at the centre of controversy in the previous edition of the U19 World Cup in Bangladesh when Keemo Paul ‘Mankaded’ Zimbabwe’s Richard Ngarava to secure a two-run win.
This time, Makwetu ensured the right result with his unbeaten 99, just failing to connect the last ball well enough to secure the six that would have brought him his hundred.
He got excellent support from Kenan Smith (22), Jade de Klerk (21 off 12) and Gerald Coetzee (29 off 13), with whom he put on 67 for the eighth wicket.
An excellent bowling performance by the Proteas, which strangled the life out of the West Indians, was topped by Makwetu taking three fine catches behind the stumps. Hermann Rolfes ended with 4-33, Coetzee 2-21 and De Klerk 2-40.