Coca-Cola South Africa Under-19 coach, Lawrence Mahatlane felt his side were 20 runs short in the second Youth One-Day International which they lost to West Indies in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.
The hosts suffered a narrow, two-wicket loss as the tourists levelled the five-match series at 1-1.
After posting a modest 208/8 from their 50 overs – built around 53 from Wandile Makwetu – they saw the visitors nervously reach the victory target eight wickets down and with 32 balls to spare.
“I thought the boys played really well,” Mahatlane said. “We started off well with the bat but just didn’t execute as well as we would have liked to in those middle overs.
“The West Indies spinners also bowled very well in that middle period and that’s where they really put us under pressure, so well done to them. Making 208 at the end of the day was just 20 runs too short for this encounter.”
The South Africans initially struggled for wickets against the U19 world champions, who were cruising along nicely on 118/1 thanks to opener Bhaskar Yadram’s 81.
Even after he fell, they still looked comfortably on course for an easy win at 165/3, before the home side roared back.
Mahatlane continued: “With West Indies at 118 for one, to pick up the next seven wickets for 94 runs, the boys showed a lot of heart and a lot of character. So I thought that from a bowling and fielding point of view, we really brought ourselves into the game. Unfortunately we missed a couple of opportunities but overall we were okay.”
Match three of the five-game series takes place at the same Pietermaritzburg Oval on Friday.
The South African coach added: “There were a lot of positives to take out of the game and even though we’re disappointed with the loss, I think from a batting point of view we should have done a bit better.”
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), Thando Ntini (Western Province), Jiveshan Pillay (Northerns), Herman Rolfes (Northerns), Kenan Smith (Eastern Province), Jason Niemand (Border).