Wandile Makwetu's half-century added to a strong bowling display paved the way for the Coca-Cola South Africa under-19s to edge out their West Indies counterparts by one wicket in a one-day, warm-up match at the Varsity Oval in Durban on Tuesday.
The youngster from Gauteng top-scored with 65 off 89 balls as the hosts crossed their 205 victory target with the final ball of the game.
Jiveshan Pillay (41) and Raynard van Tonder (31) also played important roles, while the South Africans also owed their number 10 and 11 - Herman Rolfes (19) and Kenan Smith (10) - some gratitude as they added 29 between them to squeeze their side over the line.
With the ball, opening bowlers Gerald Coetzee (2/21) and Thando Ntini (1/14) were outstanding, while Curtis Campher picked up 2/33 to restrict the world champions to 204/8.
The match was the third warm-up game for the home side as they prepare for their five-match, Youth One-Day International series against the islanders, who won the U19 World Cup in Bangladesh last year, starting on Sunday.
“It was a very good warm-up game for us, obviously capped with a good last-ball finish,” assistant coach Chris van Noordwyk said. “It’s a really good morale boost for the boys.”
South Africa had lost both their warm-up games to a KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union (KZNCU) Academy side, prior to Tuesday’s win.
“Coming into the game they had prepared very well, especially after the two losses,” Van Noordwyk added. “I must say that the vibe and the energy between the boys has been very good and to see them take that into today’s game was great.
“You can see the unit is coming together, the batsmen and the bowlers are all beginning to gel and we’re starting to play a brand of cricket that we want to take forward into the series.
“So all in all we’re very happy and hopefully this will give us some good momentum going into the weekend.”
They have one more preparation game on Thursday.
Coca-Cola South Africa U19 team:
Raynard van Tonder (Free State), Matthew Breetzke (Eastern Province), Curtis Campher (Gauteng), Jesse Christensen (Western Province), Gerald Coetzee (Free State), Jade de Klerk (Eastern Province), Fraser Jones (KZN Inland), Wandile Makwetu (Gauteng), Andile Mogakane (KZN Coastal), Kgaudise Molefe (Gauteng), Jacob Miltz (Gauteng), Thando Ntini (Western Province), Jiveshan Pillay (Northerns), Herman Rolfes (Northerns), Kenan Smith (Eastern Province).