Wiaan Mulder’s U19 team came under immediate pressure on day one of their Youth Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
With the entire team playing a ‘Test’ for the first time, the Sri Lankans pinned them back to a score of 206 after they had chosen to bat, and then piled up 108-2 by the close.
Only four players responded to the Sri Lankan attack, led by St Stithians’ wicketkeeper-batsman Ricardo Vasconcelos, who accumulated an unbeaten 78 off 95 balls (10×4, 2×6), batting at No 7.
Raynard van Tonder, who showed great form in the warm-up match, carried the early load, scoring 41 of the 51 runs accumulated for the first four wickets, when he fell in the 13th over.
Mulder, the St Stithians captain, then set about repairing the damage in a partnership with his schoolmate Wandile Makwetu (24), taking the score to 118-5. His 41 had come at a measured rate, taking 75 balls, with just five fours. But when they were both dismissed within four balls, it was left to Vasconcelos to fight on alone, for no other batsman scored more than six.
The U19s will need some early wickets to limit the damage in this three-day match.
Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images