Pakistan clinched a three-wicket win over the Coca-Cola South Africa under-19s in their ICC U19 World Cup quarter-final encounter to secure a place in the semi-final at Christchurch on Wednesday. South Africa will now enter the Plate Championship portion of the competition where they will play for, at best fifth position overall.
The young Proteas were reduced to 189/9 at the end of their 50 overs after being put in to bat first. The top order failed to fire once again. Jiveshen Pillay, Matthew Breetzke, Hermann Rolfes and captain, Raynard van Tonder fell for scores of 14, 12, five and four respectively, leaving the side struggling on 43/4 when Wandile Makwetu stepped in. The number five batsman once again showed great maturity under pressure, hitting a 65-ball 60 (4x4s, 1x6). Other notable contributions came from Jason Niemand (36 off 64), Jean du Plessis (21 off 44) and Jade de Klerk, who added a late burst energy to the innings with his 16 off 28.
Pakistan’s Muhammad Musa and Shaheen Afridi were the pick of the bowlers, the seamers took a respective 3/29 and 2/30 up front, accounting for the top five and effectively putting the rest of the line-up on the backfoot.
South Africa did their best with the ball during the opposition’s reply. They had them 95/4 in the 22nd over before Ali Zaryab played a match-winning knock, returning unbeaten for 74 runs off 111 balls (5x4s). Saad Khan and Rohail Nazir chipped in with 26 and 23 runs respectively, cushioning the fall of wickets with their contributions.
Niemand was the most successful with the ball in hand for the young South Africans, he took two wickets for 31 runs including a maiden over. The rest of the bowlers; Akhona Mnyaka (1/21), Kgaudise Molefe (1/22 in 5.5 overs), Rolfes (1/22 in seven overs), De Klerk (1/33) and Gerald Coetzee (1/53) claimed a wicket each, but could not remove the obstinate number four, Zaryab.
South Africa will now wait for the result of the New Zealand/Afghanistan quarter-final to see who they will face this Saturday, 27 January in the Plate semi-final also to be held in Christchurch.