West Indies U19 series loss hurts Mahatlane

Lawrence Mahatlane

Lawrence Mahatlane

Coca-Cola South Africa Under-19s coach, Lawrence Mahatlane admits that losing their five-match Youth One-Day International to West Indies is a difficult pill to swallow.

The hosts suffered a narrow, two-run loss in the decisive game at the Chatsworth Oval in Durban on Wednesday to slip to a 3-2 series loss.

Chasing 245 for victory, Matthew Breetzke’s century put them on course for a straightforward win.

The opener made exactly 100 (114 balls, 7 fours, 3 sixes) with his side on 206/2 in the 44th over, before collapsing to end on 242/7 against the reigning world champions.

“It’s a bitter pill to swallow,” Mahatlane said afterwards. “I think we got into a position where we should have won the game but unfortunately West Indies bowled really well at the back end of the innings and all credit to them for that.

“For us, we just made some silly errors, some real schoolboy stuff, and it’s something that unfortunately throughout the series stands out.”

It was a second ton in three innings for Breetzke, who also hit a half-century in the series, while there were also good performances from the likes of Raynard van Tonder and Jiveshan Pillay with the bat. The likes of Kgaudise Molefe, Thando Ntini and Jade de Klerk excelled with the ball.

“There were also a lot of good things that the young men did,” Mahatlane said. “I thought some of the bowling and batting throughout the series can give us some good confidence going forward not only to the England series, but also the World Cup.”

Mahatlane is hoping his team will take the lessons from this series forward and improve for their next assignment.

“We got an idea of areas to improve and areas to work on over the next four months and hopefully we can get it right and really pull it through,” he added. “After this loss, there’s a lot of hurt in the changeroom because we know we had a lot of opportunities through this series.”