A sensational bowling performance by Kwena Maphaka helped South Africa U19 begin their World Cup campaign with a 31-run win against the West Indies in Potchefstroom on Friday.
The star fast bowler claimed 5-38 to dismiss the islanders for 254 with nearly 10 overs to go as they hunted down the home side’s 286 target.
But Maphaka delivered the killer blows to ensure the home side made a flying start to the competition.
Riley Norton was the other key bowler for the South Africans, grabbing 3-66, including the key wicket of centurion Jewel Andrew after he had clubbed 130 off 96 balls (14 fours, three sixes).
The result puts Malibongwe Maketa’s side top of Group B with England next up for them on Tuesday.
And the hosts will be thrilled to have claimed a key win to start the tournament with their batsmen too playing a role in an innings that saw Dewan Marais top-score with a bludgeoning 65 off 38 balls, including four sixes and four fours.
Before that, though, Lhuan-dre Pretorius recorded a breezy 40 off 34 balls at the top of the order and No 3 David Teeger hit a more patient 44 after their team lost the toss and were asked to take first strike.
The pair gave their side a sound start on 97-2, before some middle order struggles left them in a fix at 145-6 – Nathan Sealy (3-34) doing most of the damage for the Windies.
Captain Juan James (47) then took up the mantle with a fine repair job alongside Marais as the pair added 131 in no time for the seventh wicket to ensure their side ended well on 285-9.
In reply, Maphaka came out firing.
The 17-year-old removed Adrian Weir for a second ball duck in the first over and then claimed two key scalps in the third – West Indies captain Stephan Pascal for six and Joshua Dorne for nine leaving the total on 17-3.
Norton added the wickets of Jordan Johnson (21) and Steve Wedderburn (12) to his tally, before a remarkable counter-attack by Andrew.
Despite his efforts to threaten a remarkable fightback, the home side hung in and managed to hit back, before dismissing their opponents in 40.1 overs.
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