The Coca-Cola South Africa under-19s concluded their last warm-up match ahead of their departure for the ICC U19 World Cup in New Zealand at Tuks Oval on Wednesday. The youngsters suffered a five-wicket defeat at the hands of the hosts, but Assistant Coach, Wandile Gwavu believes that the players got what they needed from the exercise.
“We’re very grateful to Tuks cricket for giving us such a strong side to test ourselves against, firstly,” he said. “We know that when they play a game of cricket they play to win, they hold nothing back and that’s exactly what our team needed, it was really good preparation.
“The aim of today’s match was to make sure that everyone was given a good run and that the bowlers got a good feel after some not having bowled in two weeks. You always want to win, it doesn’t matter what kind of game you play, we always take them seriously because you build a lot of momentum when you have that winning feeling.
“That being said, the team definitely got what they needed from the match. As a good side, we’re always looking for improvement. It’s not only about today or the last two months, it’s about the 18 months of work that we’ve put in with these players and they all understand their roles and what is expected of them.”
South Africa posted 272/7 at the end of their allotted 50 overs after electing to bat first thanks to a century by Jiveshen Pillay (117 off 127 balls, 9 fours, 1 six) and half-centuries from Andile Mogakane (65 off 76, 6 fours) and Matthew Breetzke (63 off 76, 6 fours). Donovan Ferreira was the chief destroyer, taking 4/42 in his 10-over spell.
Tuks’ Ivan Kriek scored 130 runs in 134 deliveries (7 fours, 9 sixes) and was well supported by Blake Schraader who smashed a 74-ball 87 (9 fours, 2 sixes), leading their side to victory. Opening bowlers, Thando Ntini and Gerald Coetzee were the pick of the attack, taking 2/20 and 2/24 respectively.
The team depart for the World Cup tomorrow (04 January) on Emirates flight EK766 at 22:20.
Coca-Cola South Africa Under-19s ICC World Cup squad:
Raynard van Tonder (capt, Free State), Matthew Breetzke (Eastern Province), Jean du Plessis (South Western Districts), Jason Niemand (Border), 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), Jiveshen Pillay (Northerns), Hermann Rolfes (Northerns), Kenan Smith (Eastern Province), Akhona Mnyaka (Border).
Lawrence Mahatlane (Head Coach), Wandile Gwavu (Assistant Coach), Chris van Noordwyk (Assistant Coach), Riaan Osman (Manager), Kyle Southgate (Performance Analyst), Lizahn Naude (Physiotherapist), Sipokazi Sokanyile (Media Liaison), Runeshan Moodley (Fitness Trainer), Robin Peterson (Technical Consultant), Maurice Aronstam (Mental Conditioning Coach).