The South Africa U19s failed to bounce back from a disappointing defeat in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Super League quarter-final as they went down by four wickets to the Windies in the playoff semi-final on Saturday in Potchefstroom.
An impressive bowling display on a pitch that offered a lot to the bowlers helped the Caribbean outfit remove the Junior Proteas for 144 all out. The Windies, led by captain Konami Melius (29), then chased down the target with four wickets in hand despite a commendable effort from the home side.
SA U19 won the toss and elected to set a score but were pegged back with Jonathan Bird (13), captain Bryce Parsons (7) and Luke Beaufort (9) falling early. Although wickets fell around him, opener Levert Manje imposed himself well to get to a 63-ball 43 (3 fours, 2 sixes) alongside wicketkeeper-batsman Khanya Cotani (27) to get the hosts to two runs shy of triple figures.
A run-out of Manje then sparked a middle-order collapse, as four more wickets went down in quick succession, including Jack Lees (7), Pheko Moletsane (1), Cotani and Merrick Brett (1) to leave the home side reeling on 122-8.
Tiaan van Vuuren (7) and Achille Cloete (10) combined for a crucial 21 runs before the Windies wrapped up the innings, with Joshua James (2-25), Ashmead Need (2-12) and Matthew Patrick (2-12) all picking up wickets.
In their reply, the West Indies were also rocked by early departures at the crease as the SA U19s started their defence with great impetus.
Top-order batters Leonardo Julien (0) and Kelvon Anderson (1) were dismissed during a fiery opening spell by Merrick Brett (2-33) and Cloete (1-40) before Melius and Kirk McKenzie (19) battled hard to repel the South Africans’ attempts to make serious inroads.
The spin duo of Parsons (2-23) and Moletsane (1-6) finally broke their third-wicket stand but their momentum was soon foiled by an important 47-run partnership between Antonio Morris (26) and Patrick (25) as they edged closer to victory.
Nyeem Young (10) and Joshua James (15) then chipped in with vital runs to help get their side over the line with 50 balls remaining.
SA U19 will now face either Afghanistan or Australia in the Super League seventh-place playoff final on Wednesday, 5 February.
Photo: Gallo Images