SA U19s comfortably clinch Youth ODI series

OUDTSHOORN, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 03: Ruan de Swardt of South Africa U/19 celebrate the wicket of Avishka Fernando of Sri Lanka U19 during the 2nd Youth One Day International Series match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at Recreation Ground on February 03, 2017 Oudtshoorn, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

OUDTSHOORN, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 03: Ruan de Swardt of South Africa U/19 celebrate the wicket of Avishka Fernando of Sri Lanka U19 during the 2nd Youth One Day International Series match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at Recreation Ground on February 03, 2017 Oudtshoorn, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

The Coca-Cola South Africa under-19s beat Sri Lanka by a comfortable 49 runs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match, Youth One-Day International series in Oudtshoorn on Friday.

Matthew Breetzke and Raynard van Tonder hit half-centuries to get their side to 220/8 after they were put in to bat by the visitors. Opener, Breetzke scored a patient 68 from 105 deliveries (4 fours, 3 sixes) and Van Tonder, 61 from 72 delivers (4 fours, 3 sixes) after the loss of fellow opener, Wandile Makwetu who fell on a 48-ball 30. Mitchell van Buuren rounded off the last notable contribution with the bat, hitting 24 for 28 balls.

Sri Lanka’s Npun Ransika was the pick of the bowlers, taking 4/39 with Hareen Weerasingha chipping in with 2/47.

Ruan de Swardt led the South African attack, returning figures of 3/38 for his efforts. The tourists were restricted to 171 in 44.3 overs with crucial contributions from Kenan Smith (2/39) and Michael Cohen (2/43). Lutho Sipamla (1/16) and Jade de Klerk (1/19) also did well to slow down the run rate and maintain pressure.

Coach, Lawrence Mahatlane is delighted with his team’s performance and the manner in which they won the match and series. He is particularly happy with the way that the players stuck to their game plans and the objectives of the team going into the series.

“One of the keys before the series that we spoke about was sticking to the basics and I think the batting line-up, the bowling line-up and the fielding unit really mastered the basics,” he said. “Today, there was an opportunity for us to get a little more than 220 but unfortunately our top three, who set the tone quite nicely up front, didn’t kick on (the way they would have liked). That being said, we felt that 220 was competitive enough and our bowling unit showed what a special unit it is.”

Captain, Wiaan Mulder (10 off 20), who did not have a great day with the bat, was proud of how the batting line up put up their hands and continued to wrestle for runs all the way to the end. He hopes to end the series with a 3-0 victory.

“I’m incredibly proud of the boys, it was an incredible effort today,” he commented. “I thought 220 was quite a good score on this field, the wicket was quite slow and I was happy with how Raynie (van Tonder) and Breetzke played. It was a really good batting effort from them.

“The bowlers came out with a lot of energy, guns blazing and we were ready for the fight and I think it showed in the end result. It’s a really good way to win the series especially after the disappointment of losing the tri-series. Our plan now is to try and do more of the same on Sunday and hopefully take a series whitewash.”

The third and final match of the series will take place at the same venue (Recreation Ground) on Sunday at 10am.