Steve Stolk’s half-century was not enough to prevent South Africa from suffering a 36-run loss to England on the DLS method at the U19 World Cup in Potchefstroom on Tuesday.
Batting first after losing the toss, the hosts threw away a good start to fall away to 230 all out in 49.2 overs.
The visitors then reached 137-2 in the 29th over – thanks to Noah Thain (63* off 82 balls) – when rain arrived to cut the game short, leaving the English ahead of the chase and handing them a win that kept them top of the Group B table.
Malibongwe Maketa’s side, meanwhile, stayed second with the winner of the West Indies-Scotland clash having the opportunity to join them on two points when they meet on Wednesday.
The Junior Proteas, however, will be disappointed with their performance after failing to build on a good start to the game which saw them reach 71-0 in the 11th over.
This after Stolk plundered 64 off 55 balls (11 fours, one six) and Lhuan-dre Pretorius 25 to give them a flying start.
But the latter and David Teeger (nought) then fell in quick succession, before Richard Seletswane (33) picked up the baton to help SA across 100.
Then came the key point of the game when England removed top-scorer Stolk, Oliver Whitehead and Romashan Pillay (both nought) within the space of three runs to leave the scoreboard a mess on 114-5.
Dewan Marais (42) and Seletswane consolidated momentarily with a 55-run sixth-wicket stand that ended emphatically when both fell with the score on 169.
It was left to the tail to then shepherd the South Africans from there to a more respectable 230.
Tazeem Chaudry Ali (3-26), Eddie Jack (3-28) and Jaydn Denly (3-37) all bagged three wickets apiece for England.
Tristan Luus (1-19) claimed the early scalp of Denly in the reply, before a 92-run stand between captain Ben McKinney (48) and Thain settled nerves and took the game away from the home side.
Even though Pillay (1-19) dismissed the away skipper, it came too late to alter the course of the game, with England holding on for a key win.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images