Fast bowler, Jack Plom led the charge for England as they recorded an emphatic, nine-wicket victory in the first Youth Test match against the Coca-Cola South Africa under-19s at the Scarborough Cricket Club on Tuesday. The hosts are 1-0 up in the two-match series.
On another overcast day, Plom took advantage of the favourable conditions as he went on to pick up four wickets for 56 runs, restricting the visitors to a low total of 161 in their second innings, leading by just 88 runs. Ben Charlesworth’s unbeaten 41, partnered with Oliver Robinson’s destructive 34 off 27 deliveries (8x4s, 0x6s) meant England eased to the target within 14 overs.
Earlier, South Africa began the day on the backfoot as they lost overnight batsmen Joshua Richards and Jacob Miltz for 19 and seven respectively in the space of two overs. The former fell victim to an unfortunate mix-up between him and Miltz, before being aptly run out by the England captain, Tom Banton. Miltz - the away side’s top-scorer from the first innings - became Plom’s first scalp of the day, when he sent the ball straight into Alfie Gleadall’s hands.
With their tails up, England made serious inroads in the visitors’ batting order as Plom added his second, removing Sinethemba Qeshile for nine before another run out claimed the wicket of Thamsanqa Khumalo (12), who returned to action after retiring hurt on Day One. Gleadall also picked up his first wicket, finding the edge to remove Jean du Plessis for six.
Despite valiant rear-guard performances with the bat from the skipper, Wandile Makwethu (17), Jade de Klerk (18), Achille Cloete (26) and Mondli Khumalo (23), the hosts maintained the pressure by picking up wickets at regular intervals. Alongside Plom, England’s Luke Hollman (2/30) and Gleadall (2/24) ended the innings with two wickets apiece.
South Africa will look to make a vast improvement in the second Youth Test match taking place at the Riverside Ground in Durham on Monday, 16 July.
Coca-Cola South Africa under-19 squad
Wandile Makwetu (captain, Northerns), Archille Cloete (Boland), Jade de Klerk (Eastern Province), Jean du Plessis (South Western Districts), Jarred Jardine (Gauteng), Mondli Khumalo (KZN Inland), Thamsanqa Khumalo (KwaZulu-Natal Dolphins), Jacob Miltz (Gauteng), Kgaudise Molefe (Gauteng), Jason Niemand (Border), Thando Ntini (Western Province ), Gideon Peters (Northerns), Sinethemba Qeshile (Border), Joshua Richards (Gauteng), Louis van Schalkwyk (North West), Jonathan Bird* (Western Province), Curtis Campher* (Northerns).
*Jonathan Bird and Curtis Campher will join the team for the ODI series, replacing Jacob Miltz and Jarred Jardine.