Zimbabwe handed SA U19 their first defeat of the Youth Triangular Series, beating them by five wickets at Boland Park on Thursday.
Declan Oldreive took four wickets, while Ryan Murray and Jayden Schadendorf scored half-centuries.
Oldreive was the pick of the bowlers, taking 4-34 to restrict the in-form home side to 163-9 after they were sent in to bat first. Only Raynard van Tonder (53 off 86 balls) managed a half-century as the top and middle order batsmen struggled to fire as they have done in previous matches. Matthew Breetzke (35 off 51 balls) was the only other batsman to make a notable score as single figure scores plagued the scorecard.
The biggest partnership, besides Breetzke’s 34-run opening stand with Jesse Christensen (11 off 23), was between number 10 and 11 batsmen, Lutho Sipamla and Michael Cohen (11*) who share 31 runs. Sipamla returned an unbeaten, career-best score of 27 off 58 deliveries.
Zimbabwe’s reply did not get off to a good start. Sipamla claimed the wicket of Tanunurwa Makoni for a duck off the final delivery of the opening over to give the visitors a fright. Gregory Dollar (12 off 35) absorbed the pressure well and shared a 41-runs for the second-wicket with Jayden Schadendorf (50).
When Dollar fell in the 12th over, Schadendorf and Ryan Murray (77 not out off 89 balls) shared a crucial third-wicket stand, adding 73 runs to the tally to steer their side in a winning direction. The innings was encapsulated by the 46-run sixth-wicket partnership between Murray and Dion Mazhawidza (15* off 27) that eventually got the tourists their first victory of the tournament.
Stand-in captain, Mitchell van Buuren, while disappointed to have lost, is confident in his side’s ‘bounce-back-ability,’ he said.
‘I think we definitely didn’t score enough runs today, the bowlers did well but it’s never easy bowling to a low total. It’s not easy to be on the losing side, but I strongly believe we can bounce back from today.’
This was the South Africans’ first match at Boland Park in the series so far but Van Buuren does not use that as an excuse.
‘Playing at a new venue is always different, no matter how much you prepare,’ he continued. ‘Today we just didn’t bat to the best of our abilities and we have a really talented group of batsmen. We’re most definitely capable of coming back stronger.’
Looking towards the team’s next assignment against Sri Lanka this Saturday, Van Buuren is confident that his side can put the loss aside and start afresh.
‘Like I said before, we have a really talented squad of players and this was just a bump on the road (to the final). We’ve just got to get over this as quickly as we can and get back to playing the cricket that we’ve been playing over the last two games, because we are capable of bouncing back strong,’ he concluded.
The match against Sri Lanka will start at 10:00 at Boland Park on Saturday.
PHOTO: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images