A second successive half-century by Lhuan-dre Pretorius was not enough as South Africa U19 fell to a seven-wicket Tri-Series loss to India U19 at Old Edwardians Cricket Club in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
The left-hander struck eight fours and two sixes in his 67 off 61 balls, helping the hosts post 240 all out after they lost the toss and were asked to bat first by the tourists.
In reply, India’s top three all hit 50-plus scores to guide their side to their target with nearly 10 overs to spare.
Afghanistan is the third team in the tournament and they began their campaign with a defeat to India, before overcoming the South Africans by 47 runs at the same venue on Sunday.
The three teams are using the competition to finalise their preparation for the U19 World Cup that begins on 19 January.
In this latest outing, Malibongwe Maketa’s side made a strong start with Pretorius and Steve Stolk (46 off 27 balls) putting on 93 in a riveting opening stand that came in only 9.1 overs.
Despite the loss of the latter and captain David Teeger (nine) in quick succession, Richard Seletswane (19) ensured there was no further loss until the 23rd over when the score was on 149.
It was from that point that the home side then threw away their strong advantage by losing their remaining eight wickets for just 91 runs.
They were bowled out in 46.1 overs with the only real resistance offered by Nqobani Mokoena (28*) as Aaradhya Shukla (4-43) and Saumy Pandey (3-49) shared seven wickets.
India’s top order then came out firing to put the hosts under pressure.
The openers – Adarsh Singh (66 off 70 balls) and Arshin Kulkarni (91 off 106) – put on 117 for the first wicket in 22.4 overs, before Aravelly Avanish (60* off 56) took the game completely away from the South Africans.
He added 79 with top-scorer Kulkarni in quick time, before staying there till the end to finish off the chase.
Mokoena did take two wickets but they proved a consolation as the home side ended the day still searching for their first win.
Maketa’s side are drawn in Group B for the World Cup, alongside England, Scotland and West Indies, who they begin their campaign against at the JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom on 19 January.
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images