A superb SA U19 team effort showed the senior Proteas how to fight back from a tough position, putting England on the back foot.
In the morning session, the SA U19s recovered their position from a perilous 118-5 overnight and pushed through to 209 all out, thanks to a highly professional batting display from all-rounder Jade de Klerk, along with stubborn resistance from Youth Test debutant Kgaudisa Molefe.
Batting at number 10, Molefe scored a diligent 21 off 57 balls (three fours), sharing a 57-run stand for the ninth wicket with De Klerk, who was the last man out leg-before after scoring a match-saving 47 off 124 balls (four fours).
De Klerk had followed up his good form of the first Youth Test against England ― where he scored 53 and 18 in the nine-wicket defeat ― to display the full breadth of his experience. De Klerk is one of the few SA U19 players to have first-class experience under his belt. Earlier this year he scored an undefeated 24 for Eastern Province against Gauteng on his first-class debut in a Sunfoil three-Day Cup match, before adding 12 and 25 in his next match against Boland.
Adam Finch (4-47) and Jack Plom (3-44) were the picks of the English bowlers.
With the memory of England’s nine-wicket win in the first Youth Test still burning in the memories of the SA U19 side, they set about the England batting with purpose, reducing them to 6-2 in the sixth over and then 40-4 in the 17th over.
Luke Hollman and Jack Haynes scored 20s to take their side past 100, but both were gone by the 38th over, with the score a dismal 103-7. De Klerk capped a superb day by having Jack Davies caught by another Youth Test debutant, Louis van Schalkwyk (his second catch of the innings) and capturing the ninth wicket of the innings by bowling Plom.
Dogged defence by Finch (5 off 59 balls) and Sam Connors (1 off 31 balls) saw England sneak through to the close on 121-9, having batted at just over two runs to the over in a desperate bid to fight their way back into this Youth Test.
Wicketkeeper Sinethemba Qeshile took two catches and a stumping, while the SA U19 bowlers shared the wickets between Molefe (3-33), Thando Ntini, the son of legendary Proteas paceman Makhaya (2-18), De Klerk (2-9 off 11 overs) and Gideon Peters (1-25).