A superb hundred from the captain Bryce Parsons was the catalyst as South Africa U19 sealed a convincing 150-run victory over Canada in their second Group D match of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Potchefstroom on Wednesday.
The talented all-rounder dispatched an amazing 15 fours and three sixes on his way to a Youth One-Day International (ODI) career-best score of 121 off 91 balls as the Junior Proteas posted 349-8.
This was before Merrick Brett (2-32), Jack Lees (2-39) and Tiaan van Vuuren (2-24) shared two wickets apiece to help dismiss the North American side for 199 all out with 8.5 overs remaining.
After losing the toss and being asked to bat, the SA U19s got off to a positive start. Opener Jonathan Bird teamed up with Parsons for a 66-run partnership for the second wicket.
Bird kicked on to bring up his half-century, hitting 54 off 49 balls (7 fours, 2 sixes) before being dismissed, while Parsons went one better and – to the elation of the crowd gathered at the JB Marks Oval – to raise his bat for the biggest score of the tournament so far.
The left-hander then combined with Tyrese Karelse for another stand worth 50 runs or more, with the latter going on to notch up his first half-century in Youth ODI cricket, finishing unbeaten on 60 off 51 balls (7 fours) as the home side put up a daunting target.
Canada’s Akhil Kumar took the leading figures of 4-56 with the ball.
In their chase, Canada took the expansive approach in their innings to score at more than five runs per over as they were aided by loose deliveries from the South Africans, before crucial inroads from Brett and Lees during the middle period.
Despite losing wickets at regular intervals, the Canadians were anchored by Ben Calitz, before his undefeated 62 off 77 balls (6 fours) ended in vain as his side were eventually skittled out under the 200-run mark.
Man of the Match and SA U19 skipper Parsons said: ‘We feel really good, it’s nice to get on the board in the tournament. We had a hard week of preparation and it’s good to see the results starting to show.
‘I am just excited that the batting unit has started click.’
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