It was a good day for Bangladesh across the great divide as their Under-19s emphatically beat the young Proteas by eight wickets with almost 10 overs remaining, writes Mark Salter.
As their senior counterparts celebrated a famous victory over the Proteas to level the series 1-1 in Bangladesh, the young tourists took a 3-1 lead in the seven-match series. It will take something special from the South Africans to stop them taking ultimate honours.
South Africa elected to bat and laboured their way to 170. The Bangladeshis dominated the bowling, scoring at a comfortable 4.26 an over.
The disturbing aspect is that after their 6-1 loss in the series in Bangladesh in April, the talk was of lessons learnt in a harsh environment, and how retribution would be exacted in the more comfortable surroundings of KwaZulu-Natal. The hosts have been comprehensively outplayed.
The surprising win in their third ODI on Friday was a false dawn. And it was not even the perpexity of spin, so often the decisive factor against Asian opponents, which did for Lawrence Mahatlane’s young charges on Sunday, but rather the standard medium pace of Mohammad Saifuddin, who took 4-42 (along with two run-outs).
The one bright light is the resolute performance of Liam Smith, who scored 89 in the victory on Friday. He dug in for 59, holding up his end as wickets clattered around him. He saw the first four wickets go down for 30 runs before Daayyam Galiem (28) arrived to help put on 59 for the fifth wicket.
Kyle Verreynne then picked up the gauntlet, but he too was forced into a holding role after Smith was dismissed for 59 off 134 balls, with just one solitary four. Aaqil Ebrahim tried to inject some life into the innings with 18 of 18 balls (2×4), but the last three batsmen contributed nought. Verreyne was left on 34 off 45 balls.
The rest is irrelevant, except for the fact that the South African young tyros conceded 25 runs in extras, with 13 wides and four no-balls. The Bangladeshis, on foreign fields, gave away 12, of which eight were leg-byes and four were wides at one per bowler.
On Friday the young South Africans gave way 31 extras, with 20 wides and five no-balls. In the first match 34 wides and three no-balls were handed over and in the second match, nine wides and two nbs.
The battle is tough enough without fighting themselves.
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