• SA U19s to spread the net

    SA Under 19 coach Lawrence Mahatlane has hinted he will change the side that trounced England in the first Youth ODI, to give all players opportunities.

    The Under 19s bounced back from a a disappointing 2-0 unofficial Test series loss to beat their hosts by 79 rund, with 10 overs to spare in the first Youth ODI.

    But while he recognises the importance of wrapping up the three-match series in Newcastle on Thursday, coach Mahatlane said he is looking ‘at the bigger picture’.

    ‘We’ve got a very important game here and I’m looking forward to giving more players an opportunity to come out and express themselves,’ he said.

    ‘We’re building towards a bigger goal and there are opportunities abound for guys to prove themselves. That’s why it’s important to give every player an opportunity to play and experience different conditions.’

    He is expecting a tougher battle second time around.

    ‘I’m sure England will bounce back harder,’ the coach said. ‘They’ve made a couple of changes to their squad, bringing in a couple of experienced players, so it will be interesting to see how we will go against them.

    ‘It’s important that the boys stick to our principles and continue to do the small things right.

    Team captain Wandile Makwetu is also pleased with the victory, but like his coach, believes there is always room for improvement, especially in the batting, where a rearguard action lead by No 8 batsman Curtis Campher (43 not out) dragged the visitors to 229. A four-wicket haul by Thando Ntini lead the demolition of the England line-up.

    ‘From a batting point of view, a couple of guys will be disappointed with only getting a start and not really kicking on, but I’m sure they will look to correct that in the next game.’ said the captain. ‘We managed to bat our full 50 overs and scrap for every run that we could and that was a positive sign that we are going in the right direction.

    ‘The bowlers came in and hit the money from ball one. We made it difficult for them to bat, really uncomfortable and we kept on striking at regular intervals without letting them get away to a flyer. We have to find a way to produce that kind of performance again.’

    The second Youth ODI in Newcastle will start at 12:00 (SAST).

    Photo Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

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