Jiveshan Pillay’s 92 led the South Africa U19s to a four-wicket win over a KwaZulu-Natal Invitation team ahead of their series against West Indies.
The SA U19 attack made incredibly light work of the KZN batting lineup after winning the toss and electing to bowl first. The wickets were shared among the bowlers, with Fraser Jones the standout performer, finishing with figures of 3-24.
Gerald Coetzee also contributed three scalps of his own at the cost of 36 runs. Thando Ntini meanwhile picked up two wickets as the KZN team crashed to 81 all out in 25.2 overs.
SA U19 assistant coach, Wandile Gwavu, praised the work of the bowlers: ‘We were very good with the ball, the guys were very good with their disciplines,’ he remarked.
Given the measly score, the revised target was set at 281 to allow the batsmen time in the middle ahead of the opening clash with West Indies.
The batsmen, like the bowlers, combined extremely well as a unit. Pillay anchored the chase at the top of the order and received great support from Jesse Christensen, who added a quick-fire 74 off 64 balls.
Wandile Makwetu and Raynard van Tonder played crucial roles too, adding 38 and 33 respectively. The 27 from Matthew Breetzke helped the SA U19s complete a resounding victory, with 26 balls remaining.
Gwavu lauded the intensity shown by the side and said the result bodes well for the upcoming series.
‘The guys showed a lot of hunger and hardly played like it was a warm-up game. They took it very seriously and I was very impressed with the professionalism and it looks like everyone is ready for the opening match of the series against West Indies on Sunday,’ he said.
The SA U19 play the first of five matches against West Indies on Sunday.