Muhammed Mayet hit a 92-ball ton to set up a 39-run win for the Coca-Cola South Africa under-19s in their Cricket South Africa (CSA) Youth Triangular Series fixture against Sri Lanka in Boland Park on Saturday. It was a good way for the home side to bounce back after they fell to Zimbabwe on Thursday. They retained their top spot on the log with 14 points, four points ahead of the Sri Lanka.
South Africa posted a competitive 260/8 after electing to bat first. Their innings got off to a wobbly start with the loss of Matthew Breetzke off the first delivery of the day. Mitchell van Buuren (35) on his birthday, Jesse Christensen (30) and Raynard van Tonder (28) all got starts, but they were unable to kick on thanks to the work of Praveen Jayawickrama (2/42), Ashen Bandara (1/20) and Kamindu Menis (1/41).
Mayet’s heroic ton included 14 fours and one six, but it was the manner in which he went about attaining it that was most remarkable. He went from eight runs off 40 deliveries to reaching his 100 off 92 balls, showing great maturity and patience in his innings. He then lost his wicket off the delivery following his ton, ending with 102 off 93 balls thanks to Nipun Ransika (3/31). Kenan Smith and Ruan de Swardt added a respective 29 and 22 runs to round off the day’s most notable contributions.
Sri Lanka’s response got off to a solid start with openers Avishka Fernando and Vishva Chathuranga (21) sharing a 59-run stand before van Buuren made a double strike in the eighth over, getting rid of the latter and Hasitha Boyagoda (0) off consecutive deliveries. Fernando soldiered on, sharing a 98-run, third-wicket partnership with Kamindu Mendis (42), but fell victim to Akhona Mnyaka (3/43) on 96 runs (62 balls).
Credit must be given to the young South African bowlers for their resilience and for grafting hard for their wickets. The other birthday boy, Ruan de Swardt returned figures of 3/45 with Jade de Klerk adding two crucial wickets for 39 runs. De Klerk was wicket-less for 29 in his first spell, but the young man picked himself up, taking two wickets for 10 in his follow up.
The visitors went from 157/3 in the 21st over to 198/7 in the 31st. The bowlers did not allow any other batsman to get past Jehan Daniel and Rashika Dilshan’s 12 runs. They were bowled out for 221, sealing victory for the hosts with just over eight overs to spare.
South Africa will hope to take their regained confidence into their next clash against Zimbabwe at the same venue on Wednesday, 25 January.