Hermann Rolfes’ middle-order century was not enough as SA U19 suffered their first loss of the U19 World Cup to New Zealand.
Facing their first major test in the group, South Africa took on the hosts New Zealand to see who tops Group A.
New Zealand batted solidly to reach 279-8, with star performances coming from Rachin Ravindra (76 off 89 balls), Jakob Bhula (44 off 68) and Dale Phillips (43 off 50).
The hosts’ good start set the tone, Ravindra and Bhula sharing a partnership of 108 runs.
South Africa climbed back into the match at 174-6, Kgaudisa Molefe (2-49) dismissing Bhula, followed by the run-out of Fin Allen (27).
Kaylum Boshier was dismissed by Fraser Jones for a duck shortly after, followed by Katen Clarke falling to Molefe for his second. Then came the wicket of Ravindra, whose resistance was broken by Andile Mokgakane, followed by Todd Watson on 1 off Jade de Klerk.
Phillips and Max Chu pushed their side past the 250-run mark before Phillips lost his scalp, Rolfes dismissing him for 44. Chu followed suit, out on 35, but New Zealand still managed to push to 279 in their 50 overs.
South Africa suffered a top-order collapse, which set them on the back foot early on. The visitors lost Jiveshan Pillay (0), Matthew Breetzke (15), Raynard van Tonder (2) and Wandile Makwetu (9), as they shrivelled to 76-4.
Rolfes sparked a remarkable comeback for the SA. Supported by Jean du Plessis, Rolfes struck 108 off 124 balls (12 fours) to give South Africa a fighting chance.
He strung together 106 with Du Plessis before losing his wicket in the 40th over in an attempt to accelerate the run-rate, SA reduced to 182-5.
Du Plessis was South Africa’s final hope and managed to score 54 off 54 balls, but he was dismissed by Ravindra for the all-rounder’s fourth scalp.
Ravindra was key to dismantling South Africa finishing with 4-32 as SA were bowled out for 208.
Despite the loss, South Africa still advanced to the knock out stages, but as runners-up in the group, having beaten Kenya and West Indies.
Photo: David Rowland-IDI/IDI via Getty Images