New Zealand overcome South Africa U19s in spite of Rolfes century

TAURANGA, BAY OF PLENTY - JANUARY 20: Finn Allen of New Zealand  bats during the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and South Africa at Bay Oval on January 20, 2018 in Tauranga, New Zealand.  (Photo by David Rowland-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

TAURANGA, BAY OF PLENTY - JANUARY 20: Finn Allen of New Zealand bats during the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and South Africa at Bay Oval on January 20, 2018 in Tauranga, New Zealand. (Photo by David Rowland-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

A well-played 108 runs by Hermann Rolfes was not enough for the Coca-Cola South Africa under-19s as they fell by 71 runs to as yet unbeaten New Zealand in their last Group A match of the ICC U19 World Cup at Bay Oval on Saturday. South Africa will now face Pakistan in the Super League play-off in Christchurch on Wednesday, 24 January.

The hosts posted a competitive 279/8 in their 50 overs after winning the toss and electing to bat first. Man of the Match Rachin Ravindra (76) and Jakob Bhula (44) shared a 108-run opening stand, setting a solid foundation for their side. All of South Africa’s bowlers got a wicket, Kgaudise Molefe the pick of the attack, returning with 2/49 in his 10-over spell. New Zealand’s Dane Phillips and Max Chu were the other standout batsmen, chipping in with 43 and 35 runs respectively.

From being on a commanding 144/2 after 25.5 overs, the visitors did well to reduce the home side to 174/6 in the 35th, but Phillips and Chu piled on the runs at the bottom-end of the innings, helping their side to a more defendable total in the end.

South Africa’s reply got off to a rocky start when they lost their top three, Jiveshen Pillay (0), Matthew Breetzke (15) and captain, Raynard van Tonder (3) cheaply. Rolfes then went on to hit his 108 from 124 balls, including 12 fours and shared a 106-run, sixth-wicket partnership with Jean du Plessis, who was the only other batsman to make a notable contribution for the visitors with his 54 at a run a ball (5 fours).

The rest of the line-up saw single-figure-scores from Jade de Klerk (5 off 11 balls), Molefe (3 off 9), Andile Mogakane (3 off 11), Thando Ntini (1* off 12) and Fraser Jones (1 off 4). Ravindra, the chief destroyer for the opposition took an impressive 4/32 in 9.2 overs.

South Africa will travel to Christchurch tomorrow and return to the drawing board in hopes of ensuring success against Pakistan in Wednesday’s play-off. The match will be live on SuperSport.